Women’s March

A protest, in cross-stitch

On Saturday, January 21, 2017, I marched with millions of women, men, and children all across the world on all 7 continents to stand in support of women’s rights. Independence Ave in Washington D.C. was so packed with people that the March really began as a shuffle. Everyone there had different, personal reasons for being there. Some were disabled or had children with special needs and wanted the Trump administration to view them and treat them as people of value, worth of respect. Others were marching as part of the LGBTQ community or an ally, demanding to be treated as equal under the law. I saw women proudly wearing colorful head scarves and hijabs, once again reminding our government that they and thousands of refugees are not to be feared, simply because terrorists falsely claim the same religion of Islam. So many women carried signs that declared their bodies to be their own. The decisions made for their bodies should be their own. Having healthcare they choose for their bodies should be a right. Their bodies are not for men to do with what they please. When men do decide to legislate and do what they will with these women’s bodies, they had better believe these women, with their powerful pussies, will fight back!  

Photo by Megan Rei, Megan Rei Photography

 
I saw black women and white women. Latina women and Asian women. Palestinian women and Indian women. Gay women. Straight women. Trans women. Married and single women. I saw old women in need of wheelchairs and canes and I saw tiny babies harnessed closely to their mother’s bosoms. I saw Christian women, Muslim women, and women for whom religion did not matter. I encountered some assholes, but for every 1 of them, there were 10 incredibly nice and considerate persons. I saw so many men there, supporting their wives, girlfriends, and friends.  

Photo by Megan Rei, Megan Rei Photography

  

Photo by Megan Rei, Megan Rei Photography

  

Photo by Megan Rei, Megan Rei Photography

 
So many different people with so many different reasons to march. But we were all unified by one thing: We are nasty women, and we will fight for our rights. We will fight for our rights, even though we shouldn’t have to fight for them- they’re rights most men certainly don’t have to fight for. We will fight for our rights, even as other women try to tear us down by telling us that they don’t feel like their rights are being assaulted, that women in other countries have it worse, that we’re just complaining, and that we’re all in charge of our own destinies. 

Photo by Megan Rei, Megan Rei Photography

 Record scratch– So I have to address the last bit of nonsense up there.
Why do you feel the need to tear down those of us who marched? How does it ruin your life or your day to know that millions of women either feel disenfranchised or are marching in support of disenfranchised women? Do you feel threatened? Do you feel like, perhaps these women are causing you to examine your life and the lives of others and it makes you uncomfortable, so you have to shut it down? Have you tried listening to women outside of your white, upper-middle class, suburban bubble, without pre-judgment or talking points already loaded, waiting to shoot down and invalidate their experiences?

Did you actually give a shit about female genital mutilation before Saturday? What about honor killings- I mean, beyond reading about them, being upset by them, and then pinning a good crock pot recipe on Pinterest? What have you done to address all the horrible injustices perpetrated upon women in other countries? Did you know that child brides and forced marriages in the US are also large problems? Why the need for a false dichotomy? How does the problem of women not being allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia invalidate the problem that women in the US are paid less than men for equal work? Or that the very private and painful decision of a late-term abortion is not accurately characterized so it can be used as a political football?

Tell me, were Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, Frederick Douglass, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Sojourner Truth nothing more than whiners and complainers when they fought for a woman’s right to vote, (which was only afforded to us less than 100 years ago?) What about women who learned to drive during World War I, even though it wasn’t lady-like? Or the women who were so scandalous as to reveal ankles or wear slacks? And the women who demanded to work outside the home and be treated equally there? (Of course poor women have always worked.) Have you asked your husband for permission to have birth control, for whatever reason, lately? No? You can thank the women who fought for that, too. 

It’s pretty easy to forget about all the rights we have as women today because women who came before us were maligned, outcast, jailed, tortured, and killed because they fought, protested, and marched for them, isn’t it? But, in doing so they took their destinies into their own hands, and on Saturday, so did we! 

Photo by Megan Rei, Megan Rei Photography

 
By the time I got home, I was hurting. Badly. The only time I sat down from 8:30 am until 5:30 pm was when I sat down for 30 seconds to pee. I hadn’t eaten a meal since breakfast, so as I scarfed down my bacon cheeseburger I was cranky, exhausted, and in a fuck ton of pain. The streets were so crowded, (and I must have been a crowd traffic magnet) that I experienced what popcorn in a popper must feel like and my butt got a lot of action. But, as I fell asleep to pictures of the crowds from all over the world, I felt so gratified that I had been a part of it. I felt privileged to have a husband who supports me and that I had the choice and ability to make my voice heard. This is the beginning of me fighting for myself, my girls, and other women. I marched in 2017 with the hope that my daughters won’t have to march for the same things in 2027.
Check out Megan Rei Photography

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