Thoughts from the Women’s March on Washington

On 21 January 2017, over 5 million people gathered across the globe to participate in the Women’s March. The March was organised in response to Donald Trump’s inauguration and stance on various issues. Protesters marched and spoke in support of human rights including women’s rights and LGBTQ rights, healthcare and immigration reform. The protest marked the largest single day of protesting in American history. Marches also occurred on every continent. Yes, this includes Antarctica.

A fellow writer, Korey Lane, marched in Washington DC. I have been an avid follower of Korey’s work since I read her article, I Don’t Know If I was Raped, which reduced me to tears. I was equally moved when I saw her social media post following her marching experience:

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One of my favorite moments from yesterday (along with a billion times I almost cried at the kindness and power all around me) was this: the welcoming of a local church to people of all kinds. Finding a sign that reinforced my own, and my beliefs. Because, hey, I’m a Christian, and I’m proud of that. But my Christianity teaches LOVE, and because of that, I’m a feminist. I’m an ally for my friends who’s voices are threatened just for being themselves. I’m someone who recognises that Christ himself was a refugee. He was Middle Eastern. That my people, my Christian roots themselves, are entrenched with immigrants, refugees, and a fighting spirit. Because, no matter what has happened to me in life, when I lost my dad, when I didn’t give my consent, my Saviour has been there. And He’s told me to be there for others. In whatever way I can. So today, when my calves are sore and my throat hurts from chanting, can I really complain? No. I have Christ by me, and I have generations and generations of people before me who have fought their own battles, just to be treated with respect. That’s #WhyIMarch and that’s why I’m proud to be a woman.

The Women’s March was Korey’s first march and overtly political act. Korey kindly took the time to answer my questions about why she decided to march, memorable parts of her day and the momentum created by the event. 

Thank you for your honesty and authenticity, Korey.

Why did you march?

Because I’ve never been very political. I grew up in a small, super conservative Texas town and just kind of believed everything I was told, for the longest time. The people in this town seriously believed Obama was the anti-Christ, and that gay people “should be sent to an island and that island should be blown up.” And I was very confused by that, because so many of those same people were the ones sitting in church next to me, singing along about how much Jesus loves all people. I just didn’t get it. This election season, though, I did my research, and I took a stand, and I got involved. I realised that it is totally possible to be a Christian and a feminist, even though both of those labels have some negative connotations. So when Clinton lost, and my Christian conservative family and friends cheered, called others losers and said we need to get over it. I just kind of lost it. I realised my own unique perspective matters, and my voice matters, despite what our current president says. So I marched to represent myself, my friends, and even my family members who don’t think anyone needed to march.

What was the most memorable part of the march?

Seeing a woman in pro-Trump garb, marching with her husband. I asked her if she’d gotten a lot of flack for what she was wearing and she said that everyone had been super nice to her. They both explained that the husband was a Hillary supporter and the wife was with Trump, so she was here to support her husband. It was nice, and reminded me a lot of my family, because despite our political differences I know we all love each other.

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Do you think the momentum of the march has continued in the weeks that have passed?

I do. I think it has definitely died down a little, but the resistance remains. Not a day goes by that Trump does not do or say something ridiculous. I am grateful that we have people who will always delve into Trump’s statements, and keep us informed, even when they’re yelled at and called fake. I do not think marching needs to happen everyday, but sharing your voice and your stories helps our society move forward.

Did anything surprise you about the march?

How ridiculously HUGE it was, how nice everyone was, and the media coverage that surrounded it.

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What was your favourite sign?

All of them. My favourite chant was “we won’t go away, welcome to your first day!”

Was there a particular moment that made you think?  

I saw a little girl leading chants while sitting on her dad’s shoulders. She’s our future.

How will the march be remembered?

In a positive light. Not “whining” ladies or “snowflakes” or anything like that. I want it to go down in history for what it was: the largest organised gathering after an inauguration because this presidency IS NOT NORMAL and we are on the right side of history.

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Thank you again for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences, Korey. I look forward to reading the work you continue to produce. I know you will deliver powerful calls to action, as well as, your ideals and commitment to a better world.

 

Extra for experts:

Official Women’s March Website

Korey’s newsletter

Korey’s work on Literally, Darling

 

 

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