by Robin Boland
On Saturday, January 21st millions of people across all 7 continents marched in support of women and against the misogynistic nature of the incoming administration. It was a powerful moment in our history and locally it was the largest crowd (130,000 +) to ever gather in Seattle, per the Seattle Police Department. The sea of pink hats across the country and the growing wall of protest signs arranged along the White House fence are potent visual statements not soon to be forgotten.
Many of us who participated felt unified, strengthened by our numbers and buoyed by our sense of sisterhood. Never before have women gathered in such numbers in defense of ourselves and our rights. Now, in our post-march glow, it is imperative that we stop and listen to the voices of those we claim solidarity with.
Some of the questions being asked by those voices are “where have you been?” and “will I see you at the next Black Lives Matter protest?”
Know that solidarity means making room for criticism and growth. It means listening to these painful truths about a lack of sisterhood, delayed until danger came to our own door. If these conversations make you uncomfortable know that signifies a moment of growth.
We must recognize that on Saturday we were not treated as protestors usually are. If 130,000 brown people descended upon Seattle Center the SPD would be wearing full riot gear, not smiling for photos in pink hats. The media coverage would have implied dire consequences; property damage, violence and arrests.
We must also recognize the enormous positive impact we made on our children this past Saturday. Somewhere in those millions of people is a future woman president. She does not know that we were late, delayed by the safety of our privilege. She only knows that we showed up, trying to grow beyond our divisions and towards true sisterhood, united against our common enemies.
Know that our presence in this movement and our promises to our children must be supported by our future actions. Once is not enough; we must keep showing up. In doing so we begin the work of building a new path forward, one broad enough to support us all.
Robin Boland is a Hillman City Resident and known as “little bird” to her friends.
Featured image credit: Lisa LeDoux. All other images are public domain photos.