12 Reasons Why I Participated In The Women's March & What We Need To Do Next

Women's March

In case you missed it, WE THE PEOPLE came together this past Saturday for what is being described as the largest protest in US history. And guess what? The event was conceived of and executed by WOMEN. Women made it happen. They spoke up for one another. They embraced one another. They arrived for one another. They enlisted the help of their friends, lovers, fathers, sons, and brothers. They came to be counted. They came to inspire. They came to rage. (They made hilarious signs.) I, for one, am SO proud of everyone who showed up at the marches. While it can feel futile and chaotic to be part of something so huge - it's clear that in this case, authentic momentum for change is brewing in our country. Just a few short months after Donald Trump was voted into office by the electoral college, women said BOY BYE. Let the false narrative that women contributed in any significant way to his win be laid to rest. It's time to harness that monstrous energy and use it to make a more just and compassionate country. 

While it can feel futile and chaotic to be part of something so huge - it’s clear that in this case, authentic momentum for change is brewing in our country.
The author, center, marching with family & her 5 year-old daughter in Chicago

The author, center, marching with family & her 5 year-old daughter in Chicago

Saturday's march was a mega brainstorm and like many storms, we could see it coming. In the days leading up to the the protest, the skies had grown dark with fear and ignorance. The pressure changed - things got weird, and then finally, KABOOM! the beautiful brainstorm arrived to wash away the dirty nonsense that had corrupted our thinking. The brainstorm left and there we stood together - united in exquisite clarity. The most exciting part of the brainstorm is that its flood waters are still flowing all around us. It is now a powerful rushing river and it's waiting for you to jump in. Seriously - GAME ON. If you want to join the protest moving forward, visit womensmarch.com - where they have articulated 10 actions you can take in the next 100 days. They've also posted their uniting principles, in case you are just getting into the swing of things. If you prefer to go your own way, more power to you - write your own manifesto for social change - and assign yourself some action steps. Check out this guide - Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda. Or, if you'd rather focus your energies on the upcoming 2018 elections take a look at this site and maximize your effectiveness by finding your closest swing district.

Mass demonstration was an aid to women’s suffrage, civil rights, and other noble causes.
The Women's March

There are so many reasons why we march. I march because I honestly want to Make America Great (forget the again). On that note - here are my dirty dozen priorities:

  1. There need to be more women in public office  - let's organize them to run and enable them to vote.
  2. We all deserve to prosper. Let's get affordable healthcare to all of our citizens because we recognize it as a human right.
  3. Autonomy is a reasonable request. Let's acknowledge that each of our bodies are our own business and stop seeking to control one another.
  4. We are more than our bodies. Let's reject the objectification of the female sex.
  5. Economic equality is crucial to our existence. Let's take legal action that ensures women equal pay and opportunity in the workforce.
  6. Justice is fundamental to the prosperity of this country. Let's explicitly address and reject the treatment of black and brown women in this country who remain oppressed, discriminated against, and imprisoned disproportionately.
  7. Call a spade a spade. Let's hold accountable anyone who would speak the way Donald Trump and his lackeys continually speak about women and label it what truly is -  hate speech. 
  8. We need to check ourselves before we wreck ourselves. Let's acknowledge the current state of the union - where women struggle everyday, everywhere, for just an ounce of consideration and respect and yet are continually and unfairly ignored, judged, and chastised for being "bossy", "needy", "emotional", "nagging", "dramatic", "shallow", "confused", and "sneaky". This country is not a safe place for woman, psychologically or physically.
  9. The future is female. Let's refuse to allow our daughters to grow up thinking they need to defer to any man, ever, rather than trust their own good sense.
  10. Reforming our culture should be a priority. Let's restore a sense of true civic pride by insisting on thoughtfulness and compassion in politics. 
  11. Unity is achievable. Let's unite in solidarity and action with all our brothers and sisters.
  12. Let's make sure everyone has a voice, has access to the voting booth, and that all our votes are counted.
The Women's March

Marching, taking to the streets, will be minimized and disparaged by cynics and opponents of progress. Take stock the truth of our history. Mass demonstration was an aid to women's suffrage, civil rights, and other noble causes. Our global women's march, and the revolutionary protests roaring on the streets of Mexico, may very well be the start of something great. MARCH ON! 

For more on social justice and how you can help, read about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan and the Sioux Tribe's fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline. 

Michelle Holder

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MICHELLE HOLDER IS A WRITER, PHOTOGRAPHER AND PERFORMER FROM CHICAGO, IL. SHE WORKED MANY YEARS AS COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR A SOCIAL JUSTICE NON-PROFIT BEFORE LEAVING TO ACT AS THE PRIMARY CARE-GIVER FOR HER TWO YOUNG DAUGHTERS. WHEN SHE IS NOT HUSTLING FOR THEATRE WORK, SHE CAN BE FOUND DOING CORPORATE EVENT PHOTOGRAPHY, TRAVELING, HANGING WITH HER FRIENDS AND FAMILY, OR SCRIBBLING IN HER NOTEBOOK. BOTH HER HUSBAND AND MOTHER AGREE - SHE IS RIGHT ABOUT MOST THINGS.

IMAGES COURTESY OF: WIKICOMMONS // MICHELLE HOLDER