By: Lessa Leigh
Rise up! The time is now. We march.
We march in cities around the world, sisters in solidarity to the brave women taking steps to assert our rights in Washington, D.C.
We march, carrying signs. We march, holding hands. We march, yelling voices. We march, looking ahead. We march, moving forward.
Historians will look back at January 21, 2017 as a turning point. The day before, the world watched an unqualified, demagogue-inspired narcissist take control of its most powerful country. Some cheered. More wept. All wondered what next? Sisters, what was next was you, taking to the streets and demanding to be heard. Be proud of your efforts and your accomplishments. Your voices inspired the souls of many and drove a shard of fear into the hearts of the few, who wish to silence dissent, especially from the womenfolk.
This momentous occasion is only a start, however. Do not think that your day of solidarity is enough to make real change. Take it as a notice of intent. Use it like a divorce decree. Make it clear that you will not tolerate being marginalized as a way to boost powerful men.
Speak up. Act out. Stand firm. Breathe deep. Keep moving. Do not stop.
When Saturday is over and the thrill of protest slowly eases from your core, remember that one day is good. Every day is better. We need you. You are actively needed on the front lines today and every day until January 20, 2021. Remember that divorce decree? Use it. Metaphorically separate yourself from all those, who would keep you down. Stand with your sisters. Support those in need. Hold a hand out to help lift those, who have fallen down. We need each other, each and every one of us. We must embrace and love each other, from the indigent to the socialite. No race, no religion, no differences shall hold us back from our fight.
Why? Because true feminism isn’t meant to judge what an individual chooses to do or to believe, but all individuals, in order to be true feminists, must accept each other’s differences, each other’s choices, each other’s lives. We are stronger together than apart, but our togetherness must respect our individual selves.
It’s a simple concept, but it’s one that our patriarchal approach refuses to understand. We’re taught that the lenses must be focused on a certain point, in order for the vision to be correct, but that lesson fails to grasp that each individual has a different perspective. What I mean, sisters, is that on January 22nd, when we take up the fight, we take it up for all. We fight for bodily autonomy, for economic parity, freedom of expression, universal healthcare. We fight for racial equality, for gender equality, for sexual equality, for religious equality, for non-religious equality, systemic equality. We fight for environmental justice, wage justice, social justice, criminal justice, civil justice, and animal rights.
We do not judge what another chooses to do with her own body. We do not judge any choices made in the service of one’s self, one’s family, or one’s community. We do not judge physical appearance, mental capacity, or spiritual enlightenment. We only judge ourselves, by the work we do, the love we give, the kindness we show, and the strength we muster.
We have being doing the work. We will continue to do the work. We will right the world, for ourselves, for our families, for our communities. Join us and help us by doing the work, or move out of our way.
We are feminists, proud and loud.
We are here. We are marching forward. You will not drag us back.
Expect us. March with us, or move out of our way.