Women's March 2018: Take Your Protest Home
Today, I expected to go to work. Not literally of course, but I expected the march to be full of anger, longing, desperation for equality. I expected to come out of it feeling as if nothing had changed and nothing ever will, as I usually feel with national social issues in our country. Most of all, I didn't expect to see very many men. I was wrong.
Don't misinterpret my words - it was hard work. It was hard work to stand amongst 500,000 (Los Angeles was the NUMBER ONE city today) men and women fighting for the same exact thing: equality among our genders. As I've mentioned before, I didn't have a lot of faith in #metoo when it began. However, I held my breath as day by day, more women came forward and spoke out about what horrible, despicable things that nasty men had done to them.
I cried every time I read about another woman because it reminded me of situations I'd been in and feelings I'd felt that I didn't think I could share with anyone because I'd be seen as a slut or a liar. I cried because I thought to myself, okay, this is great, but all we're doing is beginning the conversation. Is anything actually changing?
Today made me realize that, I'm not the only one hoping for a change and willing to do what it takes. I'm not the only one frustrated with the fact that our president has been accused of sexual abuse or harassment by 19 women and is still contently in office.
When you march down Hill Street surrounded by half a million people who want to help give you a voice for the first time in history, it's hard not to be overcome with emotion. I was instantly shocked by the magnitude of male presence there, and how peaceful it was (except the guy who stood behind my roommate and I trying to grope our butts. Fuck you, dude) despite men's history of being...well...completely atrocious.
Quite a few powerful women (and one ally of a mayor Eric Garcetti) spoke to the mass of supporters about the importance of equality and living in a world where women don't have to be scared to go out with a man, where women don't have to perform sexual favors to advance in the workplace.
Viola Davis' call to action and Olivia Munn's graphic retelling of a young woman's date rape both shook me with anger and filled me with hope, but it was Mayor Garcetti's speech that instilled a possibility for real change. While I hate to admit that I garnered the most hope from the only male's speech, Garcetti called his fellow men to call out each other and protect us from abuse and coercion. I'm convinced girls can run the world, but in order to get there we need help from the men in charge who are also on our side.
They have the power now, and we can't just take it. We have to convince them that we are as worthy as they are to own it, that we have worked just as hard. It doesn't please me as much as it does you that we have to do this, to fight for our fundamental rights, but that doesn't excuse the fact that we HAVE to. We have to be patient and be confident that they will share it. We have to hope that they will hear us.