I have never participated in a protest of any sort before, except for maybe when I boycotted shopping at Lowe’s in 2011 because they buckled to right-wing calls that the company pull its advertising from the TLC show “All American Muslim.” I don’t know how long that lasted, but I don’t really shop there in general anymore.
When I was in college, I thought protesting was stupid and futile and a waste of energy and time. Today, 14 years later, I understand why people protest: to show solidarity and to give visibility to the number of people affected either in reality or in theory. Yesterday’s Women’s March on Washington was a wild success. Millions of women and men came together around the country (and the world!) to let the new U.S. administration know that we will not go backwards. We will not let you take away the freedoms and the rights that the women who came before us worked so hard for. We will not let you take our rights to basic health care and contraception, or treat us differently simply because our bodies require different care than a man’s. We will not go back to back-alley coat-hanger abortions.
The reasons above? That is why I marched yesterday. But there is so much more.
The March was for all marginalized peoples, for all who felt that their rights were at risk–for all non-white, non-Christian Americans, immigrants, and refugees and for all LGBTQIA+ people. I support all these people. I want equality for every single human being regardless of race or background or country of origin, and I will continue to support those people and those causes, as well.
The numbers from yesterday are astounding.
- 500,000 in DC
- 750,000 in LA
- 150-250,000 in Chicago
- 100-150,000 in Denver
- 130,000 in Seattle
- 135-150,000 in Boston
- 100,000 in Portland
- 60,000 in Atlanta
- 40,000 in Austin
- 10,000 in St. Louis
- 7,000 in Palm Beach
- 3,500 in Anchorage, Alaska in a snowstorm
- 2,000 in my hometown, Fairbanks, Alaska, at -20F
As for the international stage, there were 100,000 in London, 50-60,000 in Toronto, 10,000 in Sydney, and marches in Paris, Berlin, Cape Town, and Nairobi.
We are women. We are powerful. We will be heard. We will be respected. We will not tolerate misogyny and bigotry and marginalization and hatred.
If you think that women have equality in this country, you have not been paying attention and you need to broaden your worldview.
I will not stand by and let the women I know and their daughters be negatively affected by proposed legislation of the new U.S. administration.
I will fight back. And all those women and men that gathered yesterday? You better believe they’re going to fight back, too. Click here to see the next step to find out how you can join.