Women's March Oakland: Recap
Ahhh, the time has come for the first annual Women's March. Some love it, some hate it. But despite all the controversy surrounding the event, I was SO excited to attend the Women's March in my favorite city: Oakland. I got up bright and early, made my sign (see above) and spent a good 45 minutes driving around the city trying to find parking. Wrapped in a parka and beyond exhausted, I met up with my amazing, kickass friend Jess, and nearly froze to death in the January morning chill. But all of it was so worth it. The experience was amazing, unforgettable, and one I will carry for the rest of my life. I'm so proud to say that I marched in this historic event, alongside over 100,000 people, in support of women's rights and minority rights. It's truly something that I'll carry with me for the rest of my life.
In my personal opinion, the march was a giant step in the right direction. It not only showed solidarity among people, but also that there's a common demand for events that continue to promote this very same solidarity and equality. It showed that women and men and non-binary folks of all different races, genders, and denominations, can come together and fight this fascist regime taking over our country. It's reassuring, and a bright light within this very dark period of history. For a moment, it made me feel like things would be okay, that we would all get through this together. That we'd continue to fight and - hopefully - win. After all, the voices of the people speak louder than the voice of a leader, and if all 3 million+ people who marched in women's marches nationwide could continue to fight for all progressive causes, even those outside of women's rights... my, can you imagine how great our world could become?
I hate to dwell on the negative, but as much as I wish that statement was true, I don't see it happening. At least, not anytime soon. Despite there being so many people at the march to support the cause, many were there just to buy into the gimmick of it. To wear their "pussy hats" and carry their signs, just to pose for social media selfies. Many people didn't even march - just spent the entire time taking photos of themselves and their friends. It made my heart hurt to see this. For every person marching for the cause, there were another two people there for the gimmick. Almost all of those women were white women. It was sad to see that, once again, an event that was supposed to promote solidarity was again, at a deeper level, divided by race: POC marching, dancing, singing tirelessly, while white women take selfies. I hope, one day, we can all come together and fight for causes bigger than ourself, causes that may not even directly affect us, just for the greater good of the people around us. I hope, one day, that we can stop being divided by race. But we've got a long way to go before we get to that reality, and if the current status of America is any indication of where we're going, then it's safe to say that unfortunately, we're moving further and further away from that reality, rather than closer.
There's also the issue of being divided by gender, but this is, ironically, a whole other issue within itself. I read many accounts of trans women who felt excluded from the march, due to all the "pussy propaganda", to which I completely understand. Having a vagina does not make you a woman. Being able to have children does not make you a woman. You are a woman if you choose to be so, regardless of your given anatomy. It's great - and even comical - to see all the vagina pride, but it's definitely not right to exclude trans women, who are as every bit of a woman as those of us who were fortunate enough to be born in a woman's body. As they say, support your "sisters", not just your "cis-ters".
I don't regret my decision to march. In fact, I'm very proud of it. Despite the glaring problems within the march (re: poser women, pussy propaganda) I had a great time, and was proud to be there. The Oakland march was one of the third biggest women's marches in the country, and I'll forever be happy to have been a part of this important piece of history.