I’ve got 21 days to decide what to write on my sign. Twenty-one days until I express in a few words why I’m participating in the Women’s March—though I’m not yet sure I’ll make it all the way to Washington.
Since the 2016 election I’ve felt a closer bond with women. Those of us supporting Hillary have had a hard time recovering, not because our candidate lost but because we fear the future. I’m joining others worried about whether our democracy will survive.
The election brought to light a secret many had not talked about before. Overhearing a conversation in which our President-Elect spoke of groping women reminded millions (yes, MILLIONS) of the trauma of sexual violation they had experienced. Mr. Trump’s words and the fact that some of his supporters considered them inconsequential opened old wounds. Victims of abuse relived feelings of powerlessness and violation. Power comes with women standing together. It’s power that we will be giving each other, reminding our sisters that together we do not have to be victims.
My sign. Who do I want it to speak to? To those who will surround me, for sure. But I also want to assure African Americans, the LGBTQ community, Muslims, and immigrants that I stand against the bigotry that was unleashed in the election.
I also want my sign to speak to women who voted for Trump. Not to confront them or blame them or belittle their choice. I want them to understand that those of us gathered are women of good will. Out of love for our country and its people we stand together. The power we generate is for all women.
(Washington D.C. isn’t the only gathering place. To find a nearby locale, google Women’s March and the city closest to where you live.)