I went to the London Women’s March on 21st January 2017 and it was bloody amazing. Millions of people marched, in countries all over the world, and I’ve yet to hear of any violence or arrests. We made history that day.
People asked if it was an anti-trump march – he’s already President, so what’s the point? For me, it wasn’t about protesting or sending a message to Trump. He’s probably going to deny this happened, or he’ll lie about it. My concern is what Trump being voted in says about our world today. We’ve been told for a while that women are equal and we don’t need feminism anymore, blah blah blah… but this shows we do. A man who said ‘grab her by the pussy’ is now president. People voted that man to be the president. What does that say about the majority of people? All the awful things he said about women have now been validated and normalised.
With the racism that followed Brexit, and then Trump, I started to lose faith in humanity. It sometimes seems like everyone hates anybody who isn’t ‘normal.’ I can only presume their ‘normal’ means white and a man.
I’d had enough of the hate, bullying, trolling and online abuse, intolerance, and the ‘teasing’ (bullying disguised as something supposedly funny) going on all over the world. Trump was the final straw for me, and seemingly for many others too. The march was to tell the world that hate speech is not acceptable. There is nothing wrong with being kind - it doesn’t make you weak. It doesn’t make you less of a man. Why can’t we just be nice to each other, for goodness sake?
The Women’s March was peaceful, friendly and kind. There weren’t crowds of angry ‘feminazi’s’, but there certainly weren’t any fragile ‘special snowflakes’. People of all genders and all ages (even dogs too) came together to march in solidarity to tell the world that this is not ok. This kind of hate is not normal. The right for everyone to be treated equally is not a radical notion, it's just basic morals. Being accepting and kind to all different people is not a 'luvie lefty' thing, it should be standard practice for all human beings. We're all humans, we're all different, deal with it.
I want to thank all people of ALL genders for going to the march, because it’s important to remember that not all women have a vagina. Thank you to the trans people who marched, the people of colour, the disabled people, to LGBTQ+ people, to EVERYONE. I have a little more faith in humanity because of you. To those who couldn’t march for whatever reason, but supported us in your own way, I thank you too. I was stopped by three men on my way to the coach station in London who wanted to talk about the march and had wanted to go but had to work. Just their interest and kindness was enough. There were people who maybe couldn’t march due to illness or disability, or because of anxieties caused by crowds – probably many other reasons that I’m not even aware of too. I was nervous at the thought of being in such a large crowd, it’s a scary thing. So however you supported the march, thank you.
I felt safe and supported in that crowd of 100,000 people, which I never thought I’d say. I hope everyone else did too. I can’t speak for people in minority groups, but I hope you felt safe, included and accepted.
It was amazing to be part of such a huge movement, millions of people all over the world marching together peacefully. For the first time in a while, I am proud to be a human being.
Keep being kind. Compassion is not a weakness.
To read (or listen to) the full version of #WhyIMarch, click here.