Why do I march?
I march for myself. Because I respect myself and I need to practise self-love. I need to know when my head hits the pillow at night that I’ve done everything in my power to better my life and the lives of those around me.
I march for my sisters and my mother because they’ve brought me up and moulded me into the strong, independent woman I am today. They have shown me courage and determination and compassion and I want the absolute world for them.
I march for my friends because I want them to know they can do anything they put their minds to. They are powerful beyond measure and I hope they know that. I want them to know that daily.
I march for all the feminists out there, whose solidarity brings me joy. I’ve had tears ready in my eyes for days as I’ve witnessed true magic. From scrolling through instagram’s happy faces, powerful friendships and determined captions; seeing endless news headlines about the numbers who’ve shown up to be counted; and don’t even get me started on the signs: I’ve seen hilarious and witty to painfully accurate. I’m so moved by every single one of you.
I march for my brother and my father and all the other proud male feminists who’ve never treated my gender as an excuse for why I can’t do something or viewed me differently because of my biology. They’ve taught me bravery and sensitivity, they’ve instilled in me a fire to fight injustice in all of its forms.
I march for the young girls who will one day look at our current situation in shock. I march for the millions of girls who aren’t even born yet. When they learn of this history I need them to know that we cared and that we were horrified. That we fought with every fibre of our being to make the world better for ourselves and for them. I want them to know that we never stopped and we will not stop until we have true gender equality.
I march for the OG feminists and I apologise that you are still out here fighting. I apologise to all those incredible women in the world who won the vote for us. One hundred years on as a civilisation we should know better. We should not be where we are, and quite frankly I think they would be ashamed. I want to honour my ancestors not embarrass them.
I march for the women and men who don’t call themselves feminists, the ones who see us as liberal, bra-burning, unwashed, witch sluts. I march because I pity them and I mean to educate them. They have internalised this institutionalised sexism so much that they cannot see truth. They see the world through a misogynistic lens and I need them to know there’s a better life out there, one they pretend they don’t want. I need them to understand that there is a problem and a very real one. One that affects them in so many ways. But one that doesn’t have to be our future.
And I march for Donald Trump. Because he is in office and for the foreseeable future that isn’t changing. We need to educate him and show him we’re serious. As women of the world we stand with our American sisters who seem to be in an impossible position. But we march because we want to enact positive change. We plead Trump realises the error of his ways and works hard to align himself with ALL of America.
And if he doesn’t? Well, we’ll continue to rain hell.
Women’s March On Washington, Saturday January 21st 2017.
There Is Power In A Union – Billy Bragg