Last Friday afternoon, our team filed into cars, signs in tow, Washington DC on our Google Maps. I can’t say the mood was upbeat. The moment we had been dreading for months had finally come and it felt like November 9th all over again. But even through our palpable anxieties, we knew we needed each other (and our road trip snacks) more than ever and the light was at the end of the 200 mile drive.
Let me just say, for the skeptics out there, that nothing had ever felt more necessary than this March. It was as vital as a shower after a long, sweaty work out. And it didn’t start Saturday morning, it started Friday on the highway. The road between NYC and DC was packed with cars and buses full of women in pink hats, waving signs, sharing solidarity honks. We already felt better, we were already uniting.
Saturday morning finally comes and now we are pumped. I skipped the makeup and the bra because feminism, put on my “nasty woman hat” and burst out the door with my girls like the place was on fire. After a very lively metro ride, we made it to the rally. We held hands and held signs, shoutout to Emily’s boob sign, and listened to legendary women in a peaceful crowd full of babies, older ladies, middle aged men, tweens, first time protesters, new activists, the whole diverse world represented. The Mall is thick with love and energy.
I had never called myself a feminist out loud, and it doesn’t feel good to admit it today but this is all about honesty and taking responsibility right? I thought “I’m Woman, I’m doing great!” I was ignoring the fights of the past that gave me my rights, the struggles of others in the present and the very challenging future in which all of our rights might be taken away. Marching with 500 thousand other humans in unity and in defense of equality and progress confirmed that I am a humanist, and above all I’ll say it loud and proud, I AM A FEMINIST — that in the wake of a tragic election, the largest, global generation of feminists is born and THAT ladies (and gents), is the true beauty of living in this world today. We can go back and forth on politics and policy but the power of unity and collective consciousness we all witnessed on Saturday certainly conquers all.
We left DC closer than ever, with half a million new allies and friends.
Gloria Steinem said it best (and holy shit we saw her say it, she was there, she was there!!!!) “We are linked. We are not ranked. And this day is a day that will change us forever because we are together. Each of us individually and collectively will never be the same again.”
And now for some words from a few of our fellow marchers, the next Gloria Steinems…
I want all the other women here to know that I am here with them, supporting them. And my hope is getting women into office, not just because we’re women, but we’re fucking efficient, we make decisions, and we consider others. We are compassionate individuals. So, I’m really excited about that.
Already seeing it around our school, especially around teenage boys, their attitudes completely changed when he was elected. It’s worrisome what will happen to other students.