THINX Notes: On The Women's March
5 min read
by Team Thinx | January 26, 2017
Team THINX attended the Women's March in *4* different cities, and we all had something different (& empowering) to take away from it. A few of our THINXers have shared their stories for you to read. If you'd like to share your Women's March experience, please comment below!
It was the first time I participated in any kind of march or protest. To be honest I was overwhelmed and even a little scared by just the mount of people there. Luckily, I went with our team. We made sure we stayed together and looked out for each other the whole time. Also, later I realized that everyone was there for the same cause and shared the same goal, so I felt safe and empowered in the crowd.
The march in NYC was amazing - one of the most meaningful moments of my life. There were too many people to maintain an organized march! Our group went at the beginning and were waiting at the starting location for almost 2 hours when people said, “Fuck it, we want to march!” And everyone headed toward Trump Tower down a street that wasn’t blocked off - literally stopped traffic for blocks - cars couldn’t move and people simply flooded around them - it was unreal - the people in the cars were amazing about it - honking their horns in support (not anger/annoyance) - some people even abandoned their cars - other were cheering on top of their cars - it was a privilege and honor to be part of that group.
When I first started going to Black Lives Matter protests in 2014, I was fired up and ready to fight. I saw injustice and was angry, started asking questions, and wanted to change-- similarly to those who marched on Saturday. I wasn't expecting to be "welcomed" into my new "wokeness" of political activism, but I sure as hell wasn't expecting what I received. I was met with chastising and chiding of "why I hadn't gotten involved earlier", "where was I before", "was I ever going to come back and keep fighting" by other white "woke" liberals. I was ashamed, guilty, and scared I wasn't educated enough. I stopped posting on Facebook and kept to myself at marches, but I did still show up. Look, I get it. I was late to the game and they were harsh words I did to hear, but it took me a long time to accept that without having a deep sense of shame come along for the ride. For many people, this may have been their first protest. Those of us who've been to protests before should be accepting them and organizing with them about next steps of the movement, not shaming people for being exactly where we were not too long ago. Marching with my co-workers (not all of them were even American!) who were participating in their first protest filled me with such an intense sense of pride. Seeing friends who had no political awareness post Daily Actions of Resistance on Facebook gives me the hope I need to keep fighting. The future of the movement is decided by our actions. The power of the people is far more powerful than the people in power.
As a woman that has used the services of planned parenthood, of having friends that are mentally (like myself) and physically differently abled, of different races, of different life experiences, genders, religions, and every person in between, the Women's march in NYC changed my life. I have never felt safer, so recognized and so supported by my community in my entire life. Within the first 2 hours of standing at 1 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, I stood next to and in solidarity with a beautiful gay couple and their children. They both were so proud to bring their toddlers to the event. At one point, to calm down their baby, one of the fathers began to sing "We Shall Overcome" to his restless child. I knew then and there why I was marching. It doesn't matter your age, but I high-fived this baby and told him "thank you for marching with me" and the baby said "thank you", talk about a life-changing experience. Change starts with us, and it continues with US. I am proud to be a woman and an advocate for all humans, and I know that the march was just the beginning. We must continue to use our voices to speak up and voice who we are and what we deserve as a human race. We cannot let 1 man or a group of white privileged men determine what our future is like. It will be US to determine that.
I am rarely someone who is rendered speechless - like, truly speechless where even when you want to speak, words don't make their way out of your mouth. But the Women's March in Washington, D.C rendered me that kind of speechless which is ironic given that it was a rally and a march that not only physically demanded our voices but was about *raising* women's voices, and making ourselves HEARD. You'll probably hear multiple people classify this experience as once in a lifetime, which is was, yet it'll never adequately describe, or do the moment justice. I do simply know there will never be such an experience again in my life. As the day broke, I traveled into the city from Virginia and immediately connected, viscerally and organically, with hundreds of women, men, children, male, females, trans, non-binary, young, old and of all colors and contours, as we all made our way onto the metro cars. It felt honestly like middle school flirting where you'd exchange squinty, cutesy looks with one another, knowing you were interested in the same thing but not yet sure how to interact. But the moment we got to the city and we flooded the streets, it clicked and we all just knew - you just FELT the passion, commitment and fire that we all had been incubating for days, months, years even. We were READY. Ready to fight for our lives - literally and figuratively. Sure many people were angry, angry with the fact that this is a political and social climate where we, like numerous signs read, "still have to protest this shit" but the collective energy was positive, infectious and invigorating. As someone who has dedicated her life to building a global, intersectional feminist movement, this was an emotional moment - I made eye contact with as many people I could, introducing myself at times, to ensure that the message in my brain was somehow being transported into theirs: "I stand with you. I am with you. You are with me. We are HERE. Our liberation is bound." I held the hands of the girls in my group, alternating my raised hand and sign that read "The Rise of Women = The Rise of A Nation" and moved, sometimes shaking, through the streets of my former home, filling it with this energy, the presence of diverse bodies, lives and stories, in the hopes that it would infect our political leadership and miraculously overturn them. This energy and reminder of the commitment of thousands of people, from all around the world, is what I've taken with me, like a firefly in a mason jar, because I know that that moment - that day, those hours - were but the eruptive start of a greater, tsunami-like resistance and movement that will not be defeated. I am one of the privileged ones that got to be there in physical body, mind, soul and heart, yet I commit myself - now more than ever - to ensuring that "until we are all free, we are none of us free." (Emma Lazarus)
When I exited Grand Central station on Saturday, my eyes immediately brimmed with tears-- goodness gracious, they’re brimming now as I write this! It was a beautiful, warm sunny day, unlike the cold, rainy one the day before. I was surrounded by kind, passionate, loving people, all carrying clever signs and marching in slowly, strongly, together. What made me the most emotional, truly, was seeing all the young boys and girls marching alongside their parents, holding handmade signs. One of my initial fears when Donald Trump was elected was how parents would explain the win to their children, or how children would process that a man who threatens to sexually assault women could still be leader of the free world. Once I arrived at the march, I realized that yes, our youth will see Donald Trump as president, but they would also see the biggest presidential protest in history, in which men and women have demanded respect, kindness, safety, and control over their reproductive rights. They get to see history in the making. They get to see their parents, whom they love and trust most in the world, stand up for women, minorities, POC, and immigrants. They get to see democracy at work. Despite our new president and his choices, we have the opportunity to make this a revolutionary moment in time, and the women's march prompted me to keep moving, and pick up the pace.
by Team Thinx