I’ve been so proud of all my friends and loved ones at home who are gearing up to head to the Women’s March on Washington in Bellingham, Seattle, and some people even heading out to DC. What I did not expect was for this to be an international event! As soon as I found this out, I began looking for anywhere that I might be able to get involved, and was grateful to see that I found one in Bangor starting in a couple of hours.
Since it was so last minute, and I had a few things I needed to do before I headed out that way, the only thing I really felt that I could do was to put on the dress that I wore during one of the most mansplaining moments of my life, where the comment was made that a person missed seeing my boobs (and a few weeks later went on to explain that what he meant to say was that my dress wasn’t flattering enough for him). I wished I had had enough time to make a sign, do some face painting–anything. But at the end of the day, all that mattered was that it was happening in my neck of the woods and I was going to be there.
Bangor is a university town, known for it’s top-ranked marine biology program. I’ve often considered it for a university option, though I’m still not convinced.
However, when I got to Bangor, the location had changed. So after I hiked the THOUSAND stairs to the center of the University campus, I met a women who told me that it was actually at Domino’s, across the town entirely. So together we walked there, and got there just as the march was beginning.
It was amazing to see all the pink hats, all the various people there. I was expecting it to be quite small given that even in Bellingham, a larger town filled with hippies, the protests generally don’t get too terribly big. However, I would say there was at least 150 people who showed up.
It was amazing to learn that people around the world care about the inequality and bigotry that’s being portrayed in the US with our recently inaugurated president and his appointed cabinet and vice president. In English and in Welsh, the chants were “Equality for all” and “Equality now!”(I would write out what was being chanted in Welsh, but I don’t think I could spell it). It was beautiful.
Right now, many people are terrified. They are scared for their rights–women, people in the LGBTQ+ community, people in the non-Christian communities, those who are non-white, and even those who fall into the white, cis, Christian, male category (because while they might not be directly under threat, there are those who love people that are). People are afraid.
It is so important that these voices are heard around the world, not just so that those in the US who are now under an aggressive presidency can know they are being supported, but because there are still social injustices all around the world. The only way that peace and stability can be achieved is if there is a solidarity between all, a solidarity that we are all one, we are all human, and we all deserve equality regardless of gender orientation, sexual orientation, or skin color. That’s what Third Wave Feminism is about. It is about making sure that the voices of those who aren’t heard are heard–or if they are heard, that their message isn’t misconstrued to another, more privileged individual’s agenda.
There are 7+ billion people in this world, and each one of them deserves a voice, deserves to be treated with respect. No one should be taking the rights of others away, no one should be saying one person’s life is more worth another’s. We are all individuals, and it is through experiencing everyone’s individuality that we understand and learn what it is to be human.
I am so proud of those fighting for the rights of every human today. I look forward to hearing the reports of the marches from around the world.