women’s march

This Saturday we marched with 5000+ in Dallas and 2 million worldwide. My social media feeds lit up with friends and celebrities all over the country doing the same. While I couldn’t march with some of my friends, I felt the kinship from afar.

Pretty crazy to think that two million people not only agreed about something but showed up to stand in a crowd to be heard. That seems like a lot of people until you remember that half the world is women.

When plans started rumbling around about the march, I knew I would go. I told Josh about it and was excited he wanted to join. He’s a self-proclaimed feminist, but I love that he was ok to be one in public. Courtney was pumped too. We made posters, and the three of us walked the mile and a half route with the mob.

There were some of the protest types you’d expect to see- one girl waving burning sage and plenty of crunchy-looking yogis. People of all ages and races were out with strollers, wheelchairs and dogs. There were families with grandma, mom and young daughters all out carrying signs. Some in sweats and some in full-out suits. About 1/4 or 1/5 of the crowd was men.

This event had a woman’s touch all over it. There was a clear and succinct statement of principles. A woman stood near a hole in the sidewalk guiding people around it, saying over and over, “No twisted ankles at this march!” Before it started, a lady walked around asking people to take photos of the chant sheet, as to save paper on copies. Everyone was beaming and admiring each other’s tshirts and complimenting posters. Courtney got a lot of love for her rainbow of Hillary pantsuits tee.  It was the same buzzing female energy I felt before Komen Race for the Cure, maybe a little less pink. Everyone thanked every cop we walked past.

The signs were the best part. Lots of witty ones! I laughed out loud as Courtney and I pointed them out to each other.

It was important to me that this wasn’t an anti-Trump rally. This march on his first day at a new job let him and his supporters know his country is full of women. Women who won’t stand for being grabbed, for being dismissed by looks or having a period, for bring called nasty or any other name. We are worried about issues that directly affect us that he so easily shrugs off or, worse, signs executive orders to limit. Stuff like reproductive rights, accessible and affordable healthcare, violence against women, LGBTQ issues, workers rights, civil rights, disability rights, immigration and the environment.

Just a reminder, Don, we’re here. We’re loud. We’re watching and we’re participating. You work for us too, buddy.

Besides sending a message to our new leader, the march energized me. It reminded me that there are women and men all over Dallas, the country and the world who care too. There’s a huge mass (actually over half of the voting public, but like, who’s bitter?) who are ready to work. I hope it’s not a one day thing.

Being surrounded by powerful, active women gives me such a rush. Maybe because I’m close to my sister and my mom or the four years I spent with 600 girls, but I felt right at home. Going to an all girls school is the single greatest gift my parents ever gave me. I know that women can run anything from a student council fundraiser to a school. Women can ask questions and find a place to personally excel. Women deserve a seat at the table because we have innovative ideas and unique perspectives. It never crossed my mind that playing Mr. Rochester in our Jane Eyre scene was weird or that standing on chairs in the cafeteria belting Celine Dion isn’t a normal high school thing. Wearing a uniform leveled us, reminding us everyday that hard work was what mattered. And we worked hard. Even when I didn’t want to, I was inspired and encouraged by the young women around me who gave it their all, whether it was a calculus test or creating a haunted house. We hustled and saw that hustle recognized with grades, but also by the respect of our peers.

We didn’t see that hustle recognized in November, but the march this weekend gave me hope that women (and really anyone) like us are still heard.

My sign is a reference to a Hamilton lyric. I don’t think it got the love it deserved.

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Shannon

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