Yesterday, January 21st, 2017, I got to be part of something extraordinary. I have always been politically active and rather –er — outspoken, but never in my life had I had reason to use my right to protest.
With the results of the election tearing me apart since early November, I was finally ready and able to do something about it.
I attended the Kansas City Women’s March, and I’m so glad I did. 9,999 other women from all races, religions, socioeconomic statuses, education levels, you name it — all came together to peacefully protest the bullshit that is spewing forth from our lying leaders.
I am still in awe of the camaraderie, respect, and empathy shown by complete strangers to others. The march was full of women, men, and children of all ages. My heart was full seeing parents so open and willing to share this historic event with their daughters and educate them on their rights.
It gives me hope for the future generations.
One of my favorite signs from the rally. You can tell she was proud to be there.
I went by myself, hoping to meet up with many friends also in attendance. However, the size of the crowd left me isolated and wandering — but I was never uncomfortable. I never felt alone. I was with fellow soldiers for progress. I was among friends. And I made new ones.
Her words are so true. We accomplish nothing when we stay silent. I love how the statue of George Washington is watchful over her shoulder. It’s almost like he’s giving his quiet blessing to the women & minorities of this nation. I think he’d be proud of his country and his people today.
I know you’re probably like, “Oh c’mon, there are places all over the world where women have it way worse than they do in the U.S.”
This is very true, but does not excuse trying to take away our current rights. We must continue to move toward total equality. Anything but is an extreme injustice! By refusing to stay silent in the face of tyranny, we stand up for oppressed people all over the world.
In the end, this march was about so much more than just women’s rights. It’s about worker’s rights. Immigrant rights. LGBTQ rights. Animal rights. Giving our children a future they can believe in.
It was a rally for equality. And judging by the internet’s reaction, that’s just too damn scary for some people.
I high-fived these parents for doing it right. We are more than objects. We are more than the sum of our body parts.
Of all the things that made me the most happy was the number of children present at the rally. Parents openly talking to their children about oppression and how to stop it. Pushing the importance of diversity. Speaking to them candidly about why all these people are here and what it means. Reading and explaining various protest signs. I saw many children even holding their own signs in solidarity.
It gives me hope that the world can be a better place for them. And if we don’t leave it better for them, they’ll make it better for themselves. I hope we can leave it better than we found it for them. And if we can’t, I hope they can make it better for their children.
I hope they choose to do what is right, instead of what is easy.
In the end, this is the photograph that resonates with me the most from my first protest experience.
To the fellow ladies of the marches and rallies taking place all over the nation, and all over the world: I will always stand with you. I will always stand by you. I will fight for your equal rights for the rest of my life. If the government comes after your right to choose what’s best for your body, your family, and your life, I will be unashamed to stand with you. To my LGBTQ friends: if the government tries to strip your fundamental rights to love and liberty, I will proudly stand with you. To my immigrant friends: If the government tries to deport you, I will vehemently defend you and what you bring to our nation. To my Muslim friends: If the government tries to put you on a registry, I will fearlessly register with you. You are as valuable, as important, and as American as anyone here.
I will no longer sit and honor misinformed, willfully ignorant comments, posts, and opinions. I don’t care if we’re friends, schoolmates, or coworkers. You do not have the right to be ignorant. You do not have the right to strip basic human rights from others because of your fear. Educate yourself. Stop being afraid.