I have said it before and I will say it again. I believe in the infinite power of women. I am also a giant political nerd. This isn't a secret. If you follow me on twitter, you would have seen my incessant posting during the recent American presidential election. I watched as two people fought for, what some consider, the most powerful political position in the world. One was potentially the most qualified candidate that had ever graced the ticket. She also happened to be a woman. The other candidate, could arguably the least qualified candidate to ever have their name on the ticket, and a man. I watched as she continually won debates, fought for inclusion, politically outmanoeuvred her opponent. Politics, media representation and history aside, honestly, I should have watched her win. However, as I sat at home and watched state after state roll in on the television, I watched, like most of you, as she lost the race to shatter one of the highest glass ceilings in existence.
As I watched the election unfold, Trump continued to expose his racist, sexist, bigoted behaviours over and over again. His privilege shone so bright it almost blinded those who dared to look in his direction. His blatant disregard for the marginalised, or the disadvantaged became his selling point. He appealed to the disenfranchised, he preyed on those who are scared and promised them safety through isolation. He promised things, personally I don't think that he can deliver on, but he promised them anyway. And while he didn't win the majority of the vote, it didn't matter. He had the electoral college. He had the presidency.
I won't lie. I felt a little bit empty inside as the result was announced. I questioned a number of things, but mostly, whether or not Hilary lost because she was a woman. Because she concentrated so hard on not coming across too bossy, or too confident, or too aggressive. Because she had to present herself in a certain way, because she constantly had to answer to questions that were not directly to her opponent because he had a penis between his legs. After the emptiness began to shift, another feeling encroached my heart. Four letters, that might just change everything. Fear. And that was the start of everything.
The xenophobic, racist campaign sparked something. A mission. A response. It lit a fire in the hearts of women all over America. And indeed, all over the world. As we stare down the barrel of the inauguration of a president who has constantly displayed a complete lack of respect for women, it was clear something needed to be said, or rather, something needed to be done. And so, on Saturday over a million women, in 616 places around the world will march together for equality, for women's rights and for justice. On Saturday I will march. I will stand with my sisters, all over the world, I will stand for the rights of women, not only in America, but in other countries that might not afford women the rights I believe in. I will stand for hope, inclusion and solidarity. I will stand and I will march.
There are so many reasons why I will march tomorrow. I will march because like the founders of the women's march, I believe women’s rights are human rights, regardless of a woman’s race, ethnicity, religion, immigration status, sexual identity, gender expression, economic status, age or disability. I will march to honour the women who went before me, who sacrificed themselves, who pushed the boundaries, who made progress, who fought for those of us to come after them. I will march because I believe wholeheartedly in women's rights. I believe in equality and in freedom. I believe that women deserve to be heard, and even more than that, that women should demand to be heard. Because we are powerful, smart, intelligent members of society who should not be treated differently because we identify as women. I will march because I believe that diversity and inclusion isn't something that should be 'tokenistic.' I believe that different shouldn't be feared, I believe that diversity makes the world a better place and should be embraced and not marginalised. I will march because even though I have experienced sexism, and inequality, I have the privilege of being a white woman, one who will never share the experiences of discrimination of my trans, minority, LGBTI or culturally diverse sisters.
I will march on Saturday because I have a voice, a voice that should be heard, beyond typing on the internet. I will march for those that can not march. For those who are scared, or those who have been scared. For those who don't know what the next four years will bring them. I march for the right to chose my healthcare options, because I believe that it is every women's right to chose what happens to her body. I will march for the survivors of sexual assault, sexual harassment and domestic violence because their stories are important, and their experience matters. I will march for those who have been bullied, in person or online, by people who think that words don't matter. I will march for those that are told to be less than what they are, told to stop making people uncomfortable, told to stop pushing the boundaries because it makes men uncomfortable. I will march because I am so tired of women being marginalised simply because of gender, because of a inherently sexist, patriarchal society that thrives, even in 2017. I will march for the girls, who will grow up wondering if they are enough, pretty enough, thin enough, kind enough, funny enough. Simply enough. I will march for my friends daughters and sons, and for any future children I may bring into this world. On Saturday I will march because when Hilary said "Never stop believing that fighting for what is right is worth the effort" I listened.
I will march because it is important. Because I believe in equality and because I believe in the infinite power of women.