Yes, I attended the Women's March in Washington, DC this past weekend. Yes, I am a woman. Yes, I have been quiet lately, mostly due to personal things, the passing of my dear Grandfather, and other things that I shall keep to myself. It's been a long drawn out month, but to see so many people mobilize in order to make their voices heard, whether or not we agree with all of their opinions, is certainly something to marvel.
So why did I "march"? I attended without initially knowing why. I decided to go at the last minute because my intuition spoke to me. As someone who has exercised her right to vote for those on both sides of the aisle, I questioned my presence there. I questioned why am I even here when I didn't necessarily agree with every sign held or everything that was said that day. So it was surprising to me to get home and turn on the TV and check in on Twitter and to see that the March was being cast as simply an Anti-Trump movement.
I was there because my connection to my womanhood is strong. I am a proud black woman with goals and dreams and a daughter of my own. I was there for the many women before me whom may have not had the opportunity to have their voices heard. I was there for the women who don't know how to use their own voice to openly express the values that they hold dear. I was there to show my respect for our constitution and our right to freedom of speech. But mostly, I found myself proud to be there just to witness a historic moment in our nation that is seemingly more divided that it has ever been.
For me, one of the biggest takeaways was hearing the chants of people who look nothing like me voicing their support for not only women's rights, but the rights and the plight of black men and black women. I never knew I'd actually witness white women and men (yes, there were a large number of men in the crowd) chanting that black lives matter. At the same time, I was a little taken aback by the lack of representation of black and brown women and men in the same crowd. Perhaps it was a direrect representation of our minority status as a whole, or maybe we just didn't show up. I'm not sure, but I am now sure that many people do not ascribe to it being just our plight. Many recognized that injustice anywhere affects everyone directly and indirectly in some way, so that was not only, for lack of better terms, shocking yet encouraging.
Everyone there had their own reason. That was on full display. I heard about the struggles of the LGBTQI community, the struggles of abused and neglected women and children, and the struggles of the Muslim community and those of a different faith than mine and many more. And I heard from the people who couldn't disagree more with those mentioned. The protesters of this March where there in full force as well despite what may have been reported. They turned their Twitter fingers into signs and chants, too. In all honestly, I felt overwhelmed. Inundated with the plight of so many, I tried to take it all in, but I am not sure that I could. What I can do is empathize. Empathy is the only thing that can help heal this nation's divide. Unfortunately, it is the same people who generation after generation have turned a deaf ear to the issues of so many people that they choose not to relate to, yet they continue to find themselves on the wrong side of history. To me, how can anyone discredit the feelings and realities of so many people? So, I didn't leave the march as empowered as I thought I might simply because the bridges that need to be cleared seem to be getting higher.
What seems different this time is that people are recognizing that there is power in numbers and that the more we make our voices heard, the more likely we will be counted. So I end this to say, if you have a cause you believe in, fight for it. Use your voice and your Twitter fingers. Call your representatives. Email your Senator. Write books and make music. Most importantly, know that you are not alone. Women are inherently empathetic in nature, so while that final glass ceiling hasn't yet been shattered, women are the future.