Many of you will have already heard and been bombarded by pictures of the global Women’s March that happened this past Saturday- Jan. 21. 2017 and rightly so.
Remember that date folks, because history was made. In fact, three things happened-
1) The largest inauguration-related demonstration in United States history
2) One of the biggest world wide social protests in history
3) My first march and action of participation as a feminist
In retrospect #3 is less significant but for me it marks a stride in finding myself. A realization of the responsibility I hold to women (to my own kind) to fight against the oppression and hate which we’ve been drowning in for so long. In the words of one of the signs held high at the Toronto Women’s March this past Saturday, “I’m not free until my fellow sisters are free”. As a white woman in particular, I have faced little to no peril in comparison to black, brown, trans and queer women, and it’s important that I heighten my awareness to this fact. Where I am not suppressed, it is my duty to stand up for those who are.
Only really in moving to Toronto, did I start to find my voice as a feminist. I’ve realized since that I wasn’t exposed to it enough back home, in a community that lacked diversity and could have worked harder to recognize minorities. Now that I’m here, I’m learning more and strengthening my awareness everyday thanks to new friends and surroundings. In fact, I’m forever grateful to my best friend Sorcha Beirne, someone I only met a few months ago, for challenging me, introducing me to new people and perspectives, and immersing me in intellectual conversation on the daily. She’s a strong woman who I admire intensely, and who simply in knowing, will continue to help me become a better person. It was with her, and a friend who I admire equally, that I attending the Women’s March on Saturday, my first ever march of protest.
It was eye opening to say the least. The streets were alive and strong as not just women, but people of all kinds walked together in a fight for equality. Just as I remember my experience with the Pride Parade last summer, the energy that came out of the crowd was incredible.When that many people join together on a united front, Love truly does fill the air. The crowd is a jumbled cloud of colours and lights, as if each person is glowing in their mission. The energy is not only felt, but seen and heard (download the file below to hear the recording)
Another beautiful observation I had was the diversity of the crowd. Like I said, “people of all kinds” walking together in the same fight. Young and old, men/women of colour, queer men and women, mothers, fathers, students, teachers, couples, families, parents with young children or babies in strollers, people with protest dogs (which I have to admit, was my favourite sighting alongside protest babies).
Hopefully continual events and others forms of action will be organized to support women in our fight for equality, considering the current state of our world. With Trump holding power in our neighbouring country and Trump 2.0: Kevin O’Leary striving to do the same here, I am more motivated than ever before to make my voice heard as a feminist and join my generation in doing the same.
We marched on Saturday and took to paper in the days following, in solidarity with the women who marched in Washington. However, we can’t leave it at that.