Why I March
I don’t often write about my personal life or politics on the blog – not in any detail anyway. But today I felt it was important. This Saturday, tens of thousands of people will be marching in London. Millions of people will be marching in cities all across the globe, in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington, but also to march for the protection of our fundamental rights and for the safeguarding of freedoms threatened by recent political events.
I will be joining them.
I will march for everyone I know who has ever been catcalled on the street and made to feel ashamed of who they are and what they look like, and for everyone I know who has ever been grabbed or groped. No matter who is in power and what they say, it is never okay.
I will march for anyone who has been told to smile by a complete stranger, who has been told that their only strength is their physical beauty, or that their intellect, humour, and power makes people feel intimidated. Your intellect is more beautiful than that. You are more powerful than that.
I will march for anyone who has been called bossy, or a bitch, or crazy. For anyone who has been asked if it’s their “time of the month” when they get angry or cry. For anyone who looks in the mirror and feels ashamed by what they see because it doesn’t “fit”. I am marching because you are stronger than those names and feelings.
I am marching against the manspreaders, the misogynists, the racists and xenophobes, the homophobes, the ignorant, and the people that fuel their fear with hate. I will march for all those who can’t, for all those people who came before us and couldn’t. I will march because my body is my body, and no one can tell me what to do with it. I will march because my right to vote, to choose, to speak, is my right.
I will march against domestic violence and victim blaming. I will not feed the trolls, I will march past them. I am marching for inclusivity, equality, freedom to choose whatever you wish for your own life, to believe in whatever you want to believe in, and to feel however you decide to feel.
This is why I march.
They say that feminism has become watered down, or that it doesn’t achieve anything. They say we are snowflakes, Social Justice Warriors, as if this is some insult, when all it means is that we care enough to fight for our rights and the rights of others. No, feminism hasn’t been watered down. It has changed shape, it has evolved, and now you are hearing its voice again. Except, it’s not just the voice of a small group of women. It’s the voice of everyone who has felt the sharp edge of discrimination. It is the voice of everyone who has to fight every day for basic rights and freedoms, whose lives are at risk. You might think a march won’t achieve anything. But this march gives us a voice, it gives us the chance to show that no, we will not be sidelined, abused, or taken for granted any more. No, this is not okay, and no we will not let it happen. This is our line in the sand. This is our limit. Do not cross it.