Yesterday, I joined over half a million of my sisters and brothers at the Women’s March on Washington. Some of my friends asked me why I was marching, after all, wasn’t this a women’s march? I heard from others that there was a hesitance to get involved because “it’s a women’s thing” and that they didn’t feel comfortable marching with “feminists.” I was caught off guard as to why there was so much skepticism and even cynicism. Is fighting for women’s rights really so controversial?
Well, here are some of the reasons why I marched.
I marched because I am a feminist.
I marched because I believe that women are made in the image of God.
I marched because I believe in gender equality and economic, social, political, and racial equity.
I marched because I was raised by women.
I marched because women’s rights are human rights.
I marched because injustice in any form is always wrong.
I marched because black lives matter.
I marched because women’s lives matter.
I marched because I want to combat sexism and misogyny.
I marched because violence against women takes on many forms and reveals the intersectionality of the injustice and oppression that is levied on all vulnerable peoples. Whether it is migration, environmental degradation, poverty, racism, economic and social inequality, or war – women bear the brunt and pay the highest price.
I marched because I value life and I believe that if we truly believe in a consistent ethic of life, we should all be concerned about women’s rights.
I marched and I will continue to march because injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
I felt blessed to have been part of a special moment in our country’s history. I felt grateful to have walked in solidarity with millions of others all over the world, expressing in one voice that we will not stand for injustice, discrimination, and violence against women – but also against the poor, people of color, immigrants and refugees, indigenous peoples, Muslims and other non-Christians, LGBT persons, the disabled, the environment, teachers, and many others who have been abused, maligned, and marginalized by this new administration.
The sheer diversity of issues and platforms reflected the sheer diversity of people who desire to uphold women’s dignity. Rather than controversy and conflict, what I witnessed yesterday was a moment of love and an expression of joy. Most noticeable wasn’t then absence of aggression. Sure, anger surged below the surface – “This pussy is not up for grabs!” and other signs of admonition against the sexual violence that has been normalized and legitimized by this president rightly had their place in this march. However, the tone was decidedly kind, civil, respectful, inclusive… and feminine
More than righteous indignation, I was moved by the show of solidarity and inclusivity, and by the breadth of welcoming and diversity that the marchers brought to this peaceful protest. Women and men as diverse as Madonna and Janelle Monáe, Michael Moore, Gloria Steinem, Van Jones, and Angela Davis, Sister Ieasha Prime, Sister Simone Campbell, and Cecile Richards all shared the stage and put aside the differences of their views and causes in order to advocate for the single issue that runs through all of their work – that women’s rights are human rights.
As the sea of pink washed over the streets of Washington, DC (and as I saw later on, all over the world), I was heartened.
So this is what sisterhood looks like!