I was on the fence about the Women’s March and the whole movement that spurred it because, fake. The unity did not feel authentic. For a second, the whole idea actually made me weep.
I wept for the Black women that were marching. I wept for the women of color and the immigrants that were marching. I wept for the women who despite their marching, voices still won’t be heard. I wept for my ancestors that are watching us cycle through the same patterns that have gotten us very little. I wept because I felt like my people were marching for white rights. I wept because only in America could a group of women vote for a blatant racist, misogynist, homophobe, and then march against his policies when he wins. I’m looking at you, white women. I even wept for the women that voted for him. Those women that are so unconsciously ruled by misogyny and comfortable with their privilege that they voted against their best interests.
It’s not that I don’t believe in the power of women coming together. I do. My God I do. Women coming together will change the world, that is what we do, it’s what we’ve always done.
I was, however, on the fence because the women that marched were not all marching for the same reasons. I was on the fence because I saw so many women of color questioning whether or not they should go to the march. These women, like me, did not question the march because they do not believe in the power of women. They did not question it because they think women don’t deserve equal rights. They, like me, were leery of how welcome we’d be. By “we” I mean women of color. I live about 3 hours away from DC, I could have gone up and attended the march, but I didn’t see the point. I wasn’t in the mood to be temporarily pacified by inauthentic attempts at unification.
I’ve seen several articles about intersectionality and inclusivity in light of the march and these conversations need to be had. These are conversations black women and other women of color have BEEN trying to have and we CONTINUE to be silenced by the very people that need to listen. White Women.
White women need to listen because they need to understand their privilege. Understand that it is a privilege to march and wave signs about pussy grabbing back, and have the country pat you on the back for an arrest free peaceful demonstration. (As if a white woman would ever be tackled to the ground and arrested by police on national television.) Privilege is participating in this march that was created by women of color, with no fear of being unwelcome. Privilege is saying “all lives matter” but not meaning black, brown, immigrant etc. lives. Understand that the women of color that were marching, were marching not only for women’s reproductive rights and rights to autonomy over our bodies but for the right to exist in black or brown skin. Understand that I am still unsure of my place in this space because I’m having a hard time believing you’ll protest with me when it comes to issues that don’t directly affect you. See I don’t get the luxury of choosing to protest for women’s rights and not Black women’s rights. I don’t get to ignore the fact that my people were not considered people at this country’s conception and therefore are at a disadvantage systemically. I don’t get to ignore the fact that most of you openly supported and voted for a man that vows to reinforce the very systems that keep me at that disadvantage. I don’t get to ignore the fact that y’all want equality and we seek equity. I don’t get to ignore the fact that when people that look like me gather to have our voices heard it is no longer a demonstration, but a riot, no matter how peaceful.
So, let’s be real, my existence is a protest. Everything I do as an unapologetically Black, Black woman, is a form of protest. I can not pick and choose.
I am my ancestors wildest dreams incarnate.
“So, what are you saying?”
What I’m saying is this. There is no women’s movement without black women. I repeat, THERE IS NO WOMEN’S MOVEMENT WITHOUT BLACK WOMEN.
Find a more resourceful, resilient, do what it takes even when what it takes is unclear, woman. I dare you. You need us. So if you want this movement to really effect any change in the world, rally with us. I mean really be with us, no more colorblind bullshit. I want you to see me and acknowledge my black ass. Do not make yourself more comfortable with me by telling me I “talk white” or I’m not a “real” black girl. It’s the micro-aggressions, the refusal to even feign empathy when a black man woman or child is brutalized (but let a dog get shot).
I can only speak for myself, but I am done uniting with and putting my energy out for people that will not do the same for me. I believe in reciprocity. You are either with me or you’re not. No gray area. My rights as a human, are not debatable, I’m not asking you to see me as a human or to see why I’m fighting. I’m telling you to. I’m demanding that you do. Or don’t, just know that without us anything you touch… *Ceily hand*
If we want to make a change and do this Women’s Movement right, intersectionality and inclusivity must be at the forefront. We have to have the hard conversations. We have to put our ego’s to the side. We have to be willing to unlearn everything we’ve been taught, to make room for something new.
Have the conversation. Create the space for open dialogue, this is a grassroots movement. It takes everyone, but it takes everyone being sincere and ready for something that is actually different. Not the same old band-aid remedies we’ve been using. Some real and radical change, a rebellion from the norm.
It can be done. The conversations are happening. The age of the Divine Feminine is right now. We can do this. We just have to do it right. We can’t bring in a new age, operating in old age paradigms.
** In the meantime, Black women, we need to do our own healing. Don’t think for one second that I have all of these opinions and no plan of action. I got you, it’s why I’m called to do the work that I do. Mental health is vital. Emotional wellness is vital. Self Care is vital. We have generations of trauma stored in our DNA, its time to heal ourselves. We carry so much for so many, it’s time to start releasing what is not ours. We are the original woman. When we heal ourselves, we heal the world. **