On January 21st, the Women’s March on Washington was held and it was the biggest inauguration-related/president protest in history. What was even more significant hours before it started in Washington, D.C. it was starting all around the world. The farthest reaching was probably Sydney, Australia. All around the world, in countries everywhere, women were marching to have their voices heard, all because the United States elected a man who is seen by many, including me, to be a predator of women, among many other things. That was the original idea behind the march. It morphed into something encompassing women’s rights worldwide, and included women of all statuses. At home, the new U.S. administration is a direct threat to women’s rights, rights that they’ve been fighting for for far too long. A favorite sign of mine was one that read “I can’t believe I still have to protest this sh*t”. It’s a sign that shows up at most rallies and protests when they concern women’s rights and its sentiment rings true. Why are we STILL fighting for equality? Why do so many people still dismiss it? If I had the answers, we wouldn’t still be fighting. I also know that the answers that people may have and arguments for or against the fight are far more nuanced and in the gray area
I was reading President Obama’s goodbye letter to the nation and I was struck by the very first line. He wrote “It’s a long-standing tradition for the sitting president of the United States to leave a parting letter in the Oval Office for the American elected to take his or her place.” I want to highlight the “his or HER place” – as of yet, we have not had a female president. By Obama including the female pronoun in his letter, it shows his faith that someday, our country will be run by a woman. I know many were disappointed that Hillary Clinton did not win. I know that some voted because she’s a woman. I know that a lot of people voted for her because she seemed like the best way to beat Trump (that was my reasoning). On Election Day, before everything happened, I had a note I wanted to be able to write the next day, something along the lines of
“Friends and family, we can now look at our daughters, sisters, nieces and friends and confidently tell them that ‘Yes, you can be president someday.’ We’ve said that for ages to all children but only now can we confidently say that to both boys and girls without us saying it to girls as some sort of futuristic fantasy.”
Alas, Hillary Clinton lost the election, so I will have to save that note for another time. Maybe by then I will have a daughter of my own.
Watching and reading all of the positive and negative reactions to the Women’s Marches made me think of a piece of scripture that I’ve often heard at church. Now, if you know me, you might know that while I was raised Catholic, my actual mass attendance is reserved for when I’m home visiting my parents. I don’t think I’ve actually opened a Bible since high school. However, this passage sticks with me because it’s often used. “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5). There are many interpretations for it but this is the one I want to use. In the thesaurus, ‘meek’ can also mean ‘docile’, ‘gentle’, ‘submissive’, and ‘weak’. In fact, it is often misquoted with ‘weak’ instead of ‘meek’. I bring this particular passage up because in history, women have been called all of those synonyms. They are deemed “the weaker sex”. Well, people of the world, the “weaker sex” is now taking over. We are showing that we are the future or as so many like to say “The Future is FEMALE.”
*Featured photo credited to Kevin Mazur*