This past Saturday was historic. Women and men in more than 60 countries joined to march in solidarity. It was more than just a jab at the newly minted administration. It was a roll call to look around, see faces you had never before laid eyes on and may never again, and say, “I’m with you. I’m in this for you, too.”
In the morning before the Women’s March in San Diego, I met up with a group of women, many of whom I hadn’t been previously introduced to. We huddled in a crowded studio apartment, took swigs out of a community bottle of champagne as we painted signs, and laughed when one of the men in our group called us “the Feminist Fury.” At the march, 22,000 of us (a small group, compared to the 750,0000 turnout in LA and 500,000 turnout in DC where Lauren marched) stood shoulder to shoulder in the rain. I cackled with laughter at the “Free Melania” sign, screamed with joy when a guy in the march began a Beyoncé inspired “Who Run the World?” chant, and beamed for 3 hours straight at the faces to my right and left, the people gathered on the streets and those watching from their high-rise windows.
But now its Monday. We’re back at the office. The jubilation and ferocity we felt on Saturday has been folded neatly to fit in the pocket of our blazers and tasteful work bags. The wildness in our eyes has dulled a bit. We feel muted. What do we do next?
Do not let this fervor go. Don’t go back to just quietly liking empowering quotes on Instagram. DO something that is worth quoting. Get involved in local causes. Vote in your county elections.
Love all women. That is not a feeling – it’s a verb. How are you going to demonstrate love for the black community? For our Muslim neighbors? The LGBT friends who marched in our movements and supported our causes? Let’s repay their kindness and support ten-fold, a thousand times over. Support minority-owned businesses. Read the poems written by immigrants and black women, and let your heart break for how much more they’ve had to endure.
Absorb everything, and learn from authors of different races, orientations, and perspectives. Go to Back Lives Matter rallies. Get vocal about your love for trans women. They are your sisters, too, and they’ve been marching alongside us and for us. Either we are there in solidarity for them, or everything we marched for on Saturday was for waste – nothing more than a selfie opportunity in pink pussy hats amidst a sea of clever signs.
As we learn to be better feminists and better intersectional supporters of women, accept being wrong sometimes. Actually listen to women of color, trans women, Muslim women and other marginalized groups. Accept the struggle and embrace the hard work, because that’s when change occurs – both within us, and across the nation and the world. Let’s build a nation we can be proud of. Where we are ALL welcome and treasured.
Saturday came and went, and now it’s gone. What you do next will impact generations to come. I’m not done working, mobilizing and fighting – I hope you’re not either.
“Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”