Putting the Rebel in The Rebel Planner.
Today I have a special, one-off post. If you don’t know, now you’ll know: I’m an out and proud Feminist. I believe in the equality between sexes and genders, and that owning a vagina doesn’t make me less qualified to do something that a person with a penis can do. I believe in fundamental human rights and that the government needs to step in to ensure these rights. And I believe that women are powerful, strong, intelligent and kind. For those reasons, I marched at the Boston Women’s March for America.
Like many people, I was incredibly disappointed in the outcome of the 2016 Presidential election. I never underestimated the reach and power the orange-man-in-charge had, but I was in shock from the results. Didn’t anyone else see what kind of fast-one this man was pulling on the middle class? Doesn’t anyone else see that this man doesn’t want to help you, but rather his rich friends? As a New Yorker (and an intelligent human being,) I know how much of an idiot this guy is. So when he lost in November, I was deeply saddened for the people who voted for him. I also realized that I was going to lose some of the rights that so many women before me fought for.
When I heard about this march, I knew I wanted to go. When my older sister Jessie contacted me saying she wanted to go to the D.C. march, I was all in. But unfortunately our plans fell through. But fortunately that meant that Jessie’s boyfriend Kevin could join us. And the three of us together took on the Boston march.
We got to the T around 9-ish, and the train was packed by the second stop. It was so packed that the conductors were refusing to let anyone else on the train. Every single person on the train was heading to the march, and that made my heart sing and my eyes well with tears. I was so overwhelmed with happiness at that point and the march hadn’t even started!
We had the opportunity to talk with women on the train (possibly because we were so close together?) and we learned that this woman had knee surgery just nine months before and was marching. How nuts is that? She said that if she hadn’t marched she would have regretted it because her mother was a suffragette. Jessie and I had made pins the night before and handed them out to whomever we talked to, and that made me feel like we were contributing to this march, even in the smallest of ways.
Once we got to the Boston Commons we started to see more people with signs, started to hear the music and finally made our way to the stage. We were pretty far away, but we were close enough to see the jumbo screen. There were so many people with Boston Women’s March for America merchandise and I felt left out. But even worse is that we missed the memo on the pink pussy hats! I’m a member of Pantsuit Nation; how did I miss that? But we felt a part of the march since we had made signs.
One of the best parts of the day was hearing Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren speak to the crowd. While I couldn’t see hear in-person, I was able to hear her voice on the speakers and that was enough for me. Her speech pumped me up and got me ready to march and share my piece, but it wasn’t for another two hours that we three got to march! For some reason the organizers thought putting people after Warren was a good idea. Then they wouldn’t let me area into the march because it was too crowded. But around 2:30-ish we finally got the start marching. The entire route took about an hour of easy walking.
Everyone was chanting, singing and talking to each other. Everyone was incredibly kind and I didn’t see one negative person. My favorite chant was “My body, my choice – her body, her choice.”
After we had marched the whole route, Jessie and I left our signs by the fence surrounding the park. It was astonishing to see how many signs were there – and the march hadn’t even ended. Despite the powerful speeches that were given, I think seeing all these signs made me realize how amazing this march was – and how much work needed to be done moving on.
Moving forward I aim to volunteer at women’s groups in my area. I’ve already contacted a few organizations to see how I can get involved. I’m also going to mail my senators to make sure that they stand up for me, women and everyone else that they represent. I’m tired of sitting around being quiet and complacent.
My experience at the Boston Women’s March for America was incredible and I’m glad that I got to attend it with Kevin and Jessie. Protesting with two people I look up to made this experience even better. But the best feeling was knowing that I had friends and family all around this country, and even the world, joining in marches and protests.