As all of you know, the Women’s March happened this weekend. I attended the march and I’m forever grateful that I did. There were millions of people that attended the Women’s March worldwide, which was so encouraging. Below I summed up 5 thing I learned from the Women’s March on Seattle.
There’s Power in Numbers
The organizers of the Seattle Women’s March estimated 50,000 people to attend their 3 mile peaceful march. Days later, it was calculated that 200,000 people marched. I think there is something incredibly remarkable to say about this estimation being blown out of the water. Millions of people across the globe stood up for what they believe in on this day, and it turned out to be the largest demonstration in US history. That is powerful. People are genuinely engaged and wanting to stand up for injustice during this time – it’s moving and makes me a bit teary-eyed.
People are Clever
As with any demonstration, people make signs to vocalize what they’re standing for/how they feel. One of my favorite parts about the march was reading all of the signs around me. Looking forward and back while I was walking was a crazy thing because the streets were filled with signs – I mean FILLED. It was really inspiring to see everyone’s personal flair, sense of humor, and passions wrapped up in a few simple words. There were topics and issues addressed that I naively dismiss and others that I felt compelled to research more about. These signs are key for continued dialogue over the next four years.
This Isn’t the End
Nope, it’s not. While the march was fun and heartwarming and showed me that there are others in my same boat, it’s definitely not the end. I majored in Human Rights for my undergrad, so I get pretty fueled by this topic. So many of my classes centered around the necessity for ongoing dialogue that spurs action. We can’t stop after the women’s march … seriously, we can’t. There is so much more to be done. We need to be stewards and foot soldiers every single day. We need to have healthy dialogue with those who are different and alike … and then we need to DO SOMETHING. Nothing is ever going to change if we don’t take action. I think Christians fall in this bucket quite a bit (and I’m sure others as well, but I’m a Christian and I know I can be at fault for this) – we like to talk, but then we sit in our upper-middle class congregation that is filled with people that look and act exactly like us. We don’t do much. We like to fantasize about change, and then talk about it some more, but then we never MOVE ‘cause moving and standing up for what you think and know to be right is uncomfortable. Really uncomfortable at times. Sometimes it might even harbor insecurity – will people like me after this? But I can assure you that standing up for what you believe in is going to make a difference, and you won’t regret it.
Here’s a very simple thing for you and your community to spur action now: https://www.womensmarch.com/100
Stereotypes are Real
I wore a cloth sign on the back of my jacket that read “Fight Like a Girl.” I thought it was clever, and I tend to bring gender stereotypes to the surface quite a bit. I seem to end up talking about them a lot, especially since I received my Master’s in Business Management and was actually faced with the countless gender stereotypes in the field. It was (and still is) blinding how different men and women are treated in the business world. I did a bit of an experiment when I was in my master’s and interviewing for jobs, because I noticed the distinct difference of how men were treated compared to women. Through email communication and resume submission, I was responded to much quicker when I presented myself as Sam, Not Samantha. Interesting, isn’t it?
Anyways, back to the whole wearing a “Fight Like a Girl” sign thing. There was a little boy marching behind us with his mom, and I overheard him ask what my sign said. She told him what it said, then he giggled and exclaimed, “Why doesn’t it say Fight Like a Man?” All sorts of stereotypes are ingrained into children from the moment they are born. Whether it’s through toys, tv shows or family norms, kids are taught that boys are more rugged and tough, and girls tend to be more submissive. I’m here to tell you that this DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THE CASE. We can teach our children that fighting like a girl is the same as fighting like a boy – it’s on us, and we MUST break the negative stereotypes for future generations. Here’s to raising girls who are powerful, empowered and compassionate, and raising boys who are understanding, respectful and willing to uplift everyone.
Women are Sacred
Seriously. They’re sacred. You came from one. That’s all.