On Saturday afternoon, armed with my camera and my tshirt declaring that The Future Is Female, I headed downtown to take part in the Women's March. I had been reading about and following it for a few weeks as other bloggers shared and written about it, but up until about half an hour before the Victoria march started, I wasn't sure if I was going to go.
If I hadn't gone, it wouldn't have been because I didn't support the cause - I am totally a feminist. But the thought of going by myself into a big passionate crowd made me feel scared and uncomfortable. After much back and forth to my roommate, I decided that the cause was bigger than my fear and, despite every one of my introverted, shy bones screaming "let's just stay home," I put on my big girl panties and reached out to someone who I knew I'd feel comfortable, confident, and proud standing next to as we walked through the streets. And this is why I did it...
Never in my life have I had to fight for my rights because of my gender, socioeconomic status, religion, sexuality, or any 'difference' I may have - generations before me took care of that. But the progress that came from their relentless hard work is currently being threatened by ideas fueled by hate, fear, and a lack of understanding. As a woman, I believe that it's my responsibility to stand up for the rights that other women fought so hard for us to get and to ensure that negative ideas don't take hold and reverse the incredible strides that have been taken both for us and other minorities.
For me, walking in the Women's March was about more than protesting Trump and his hateful beliefs. I'm not American and I didn't want this walk to be a protest against a government that isn't my own and that won't have the power to take away my rights and freedoms. I wanted my participation in the walk to demonstrate my solidarity with my fellow females, my American neighbours, and to show the world that the rights and freedoms women and minorities have fought so hard for will not be taken without one hell of a fight.
All of my life I have felt respected and free to make and voice my opinions, beliefs, choices, and thoughts. I have voted at every chance I've had, I have safe access to products, procedures, and resources that support my reproductive health, I am entitled to the same education as my male counterparts and am just as likely as they are to get a job in the workforce (even if I won't make as much as them). I grew up surrounded by people of cultures, countries, and background different than my own, learned to appreciate and see the value of the things they brought with them when they and their families left their homes to create new lives, and have watched as people who were demonized and isolated for their sexual orientation be awarded the rights to marriage that they should never have had to fight so hard for. I refuse to sit back and watch as all of this is threatened to be destroyed. I won't sit quietly and I won't turn away.
On Saturday I marched for the people who fought to get us to where we are today. I marched for the little girls who I will not let grow up in a world where decisions are made based on hate, fear, and ignorance. I marched for the rights and freedoms of anyone and everyone who will be affected by what lies ahead if we don't rise up. Finally, I marched for all the beautiful, strong, inspiring, creative, intelligent, funny, wonderful women in my life #lovetrumpshate.