Today I join with women (and men) around the WORLD, as we march.
I march today because I can. While my feet are being taped up to give extra support, and I’m planning contingencies to exit in case my anxiety gets too bad, I am physically able to join in the march. I have friends who aren’t, and I march for them.
I march today because I am scared. I am scared to march, but I am even more scared of the new regime that is being put into power. I am scared for myself, but even more for my friends, and for those I have never met. Scared for those who already face impingement on their most basic rights every day – who are just going to see those rights be pulled further and further away, if we allow it to happen. Scared for those who have fought so hard, who have held such hope, and now face hate with increasing power.
I march today because it is historical. As a historian I know that we are always living through history, but now is one of the times in my life where I really feel it. History judges people, movements, and era’s by their actions and by the documents and stories that are left behind. I feel a driving need, as a storyteller, to make sure that I am contributing to that documentation, that I am sharing the story, that I am paying attention and taking action wherever I can.
I march today, silently documenting, because there are so many voices that have been — and continue to be — suppressed. That are pushed aside, and then fought when they do take a place on the stage. I spent the past few weeks watching arguments, discussions, and debates as women with similar privileges to myself (and some with far more) expressing feelings of pain, hurt, distrust and uncertainty about their place within these marches — when they form the bulk of the women marching. I march because I saw some education taking place in these conversations, but I march because there is so much more that needs to occur as intersectionality comes to be understood in all these movements.
I march because the differences, those things that separate us into different groups with different struggles even if we all share some of the same struggles, are beautiful and powerful. Our different struggles allow us each to bring something different to the table. If we allow them to, if we are willing to listen, then these struggles can help deepen our understanding of the world we live in – the ways it already is very broken – as we fight to help prevent backsliding in those places where progress has been made, and fight to make more progress in those places where change is still in desperate need of happening.
I march for me. I march with women, and men, and those who don’t fit neatly into the gender-binary, of all shapes, sizes, races, abilities, religions, socio-economic-standings, education levels, sexual orientations. I march with those who identify in marginalized groups beyond even these categories. I march with them, because I can’t march for them – I can only march for me.
I march today for many reasons, for many things. I head out the door very shortly in order to make it to my march – but I have been struggling to put into words just why I wanted to march, just why I am pushing myself so far out of my comfort zone to do this. And these words, these are just the start.
I march today.