“From the bottom of both hearts beating inside my miraculous female body, I want to thank our new president. You just started the revolution.” – Natalie Portman, Women’s March 2017. Each one of these photos (and so many others) make me smile from my core. Brave and beautiful women uniting for one another! Truly amazing.
Did you experience the women’s march last Saturday? Over 5 MILLION people in 673 different locations across the globe came together to march the streets of cities large and small. Although this was originally scheduled as a march in Washington, D.C. in response to the US election, it turned into a world-wide event that captivated the nation. I’m still tearing up just thinking about it.
Attendees weren’t organized by large groups or corporations. They came on their own. Some arrived by overnight charter buses, some took an airplane across the country to be a part of the crowd in Washington. An associate dean at the University of Richmond called this “one of the largest and most significant demonstrations for social justice in America’s 240-year history.” There were no shootings, there were no riots, it was an uplifting march for love, equality, and human rights. On January 21, 2017 love took the cake. Love trumped hate.
The election of Donald Trump had a unique impact on everyone throughout the world. It sparked an array of feelings/emotions and surfaced wounds that may or may not have otherwise gone unrecognized. It had a ripple effect on the world and I felt compelled to share my story after so many others were brave enough to share their own last Saturday. Everyones experiences and pasts are very different but equally as important. At the beginning of 2016 my Grandmother (Father’s side) passed away. She was a major role-model in my life and this news came as nothing but heartbreaking. Two months later my other Grandmother (Mother’s side) passed away. She wasn’t someone I was personally very close with, but her passing left me speechless. May of 2016 marked the 18th anniversary of my own Mother’s passing and at this point I was feeling as though my female heritage was no longer existent. While all of this was going on, I had managed to relocate my life from Canada to the United States. Hilary Clinton was running for president and everywhere I turned people were talking about feminism, women’s rights, and empowerment. I don’t know a lot about politics but I knew enough to know that having the United States elect their first female president somehow made me feel less alone. It made me feel hopeful, like the females before us (the ones I had recently lost) were still close enough to support the growth of this awakening. The world was spotlighting strong women and this was giving me the strength I needed to rise up without the presence of blood-related female role models in my life. The awareness of equality and unity was serving as some sort of support system in my life.
Then a couple months later Trump was elected president and everything came crumbling down. This time I almost felt worse, like I was stupid or naive to have believed in this ‘feminine force’ I thought I felt building over the election campaigns. Like the progress I thought the world had made wasn’t actually real. It was a heavy end to the year. But the response to the election came as an even brighter beam of light than the campaign for the first female president was. Hearing that a million people showed up to the streets of Washington for the women’s march was something I’ll never forget. A million freaking people! The ariel image showing the density of brave women (and men) coming together on January 21st instantly brought tears to my eyes. We’re all in this together! We are not alone. I am not alone. The peaceful marches for love, equality, and human rights was a beautiful reminder of this. Hug your friends, hug your loved ones, hug your god-damned neighbour that you never talk to! You are not alone. Our struggles and pains might look different but it is our human ability to feel these emotions that unites us.
Starting 2017 with this powerful momentum is exciting. The inspiration from this past weekend makes me prouder than ever to be a woman. Change is happening. Support your communities, spread love, practice respect and inclusion, and never be afraid to speak up. Thank you for letting me share. I truly hope we can take this energy and bring it with us everyday to come. This was an incredible first step, but it’s the first of many. Love, smiles, hugs, and bright light to each and every one of you!
PS. The social media coverage from last weekend is awesome. I’ve been listening to the speeches, looking at the photos, reading the signs (SO many AMAZING signs!!), and tearing up again over the beautiful energy from the massive crowds and sea of pink toques. @WomensMarch on Instagram has great footage and here are a few other highlights from the global marches:
Song/Flash Mob – I Can’t Keep Quiet.
10 of the best signs from the march. People are so clever!
Women’s March Official Campaign: 10 Actions 100 Days.
An awesome video asking some well-known faces: “What Are You Fighting For?” Their answers included:
– My belief in the power of women and what we can do as a collective when we come together.
– For a sense of unity. Togetherness is so important.
– So that nobody has to wake up and live in fear.
– So that a hundreds and hundreds and hundreds year-old cry can finally be heard.
– For my uterus. And my clitoris. “I think clitoraldectomy was the next thing on the list wasn’t it? After the wall and registration of Muslims.” Hah!
[Photos via #womensmarch on Instagram]