Last Saturday, January 21st, I was a part of a huge, wonderful protest. I took my sign that said (in hot pink marker) “this pussy grabs back” to downtown Austin and walked, cheered, talked, and cried with thousands of women. It was incredible. The hope of that roar echoes in my bones.
The march began something in me that has changed the way I see my world. It has helped me to be less afraid of women in public. Less afraid that they are judging me or thinking I’m ugly or that my shoes don’t go with my outfit. Fuck that. Every woman I see is my sister. Whether they are with me, against me, or don’t know I exist, we are together. In the last week, I have said hello to more strangers than ever before. Just a friendly reminder that I see you, and I care that you exist enough to acknowledge your existence.
I know it might be shitty, but I tend to avoid any sort of unplanned interaction with most strangers. So, for me, the way I want this march to change me and to continue to ripple through me, is by being kind and loving to my fellow woman. (And my fellow man, don’t worry, I love men, too. But this is about women right now, so deal with it)
I was talking with my friend over coffee last night about how I want this march to change me. I am a straight, white woman who was born (in America) with a vagina and has always identified with it. I was born to a privileged family, went to good schools, and lived in a gated community (it wasn’t always gated, but it might as well have been). I have struggled, I will never belittle my struggles, but there is something to be said about how fucking privileged I am.
I heard the other day (I think it was on Saturday Night Live) that the further away from being a straight, white male you are, the shittier things are for you. And I am not too far away from the center of that circle of privilege.
I marched on Saturday, and I will march everyday. I will march at the gym, at the grocery store, at work, and online when I am deciding where to donate (or impulsively spend) my money. I will check my privilege every hour, and I will miss it sometimes because there are things I assume and think about the world that I believe because I have never had to see the world any other way. I will never pretend to “totally understand” the struggles of being anything other than a nice white lady. I will listen, I will trust, and I will fight next to my fellow woman no matter what she looks like or where she was born. This march needs to continue to ripple through all of us, no matter what that looks like.
I am going to write an entire other blog post about how all of this crazy shit is happening in our world and at the same time, I scream-giggle every thirty seconds because I am about to get married. It’s definitely a weird, contradictory slew of emotions and thoughts.