I was a bit nervous yesterday because I've never been to any kind of rally or protest before. But my best friend of 16-ish years said she was going and invited me along. It was her first rally, too.
It was a gray, foggy, rainy day but that didn't stop us or the thousands of other people that showed up to peacefully protest a variety of issues. It wasn't just about the election, although that was surely a catalyst. People spoke out and cheered and had signs for everything from LGBT equality to Equal Pay to Pro-Choice, healthcare and even environmental concerns; all of which seem to be threatened by the incoming administration.
It was mind-boggling to be part of such a global movement yesterday. I mean, there were rallies in pretty much every major city around the world and countless small towns. And the march was meant to inspire women all around the world, not just the US and other Western countries.
I painted my face as a symbol of solidarity with oppressed, abused and neglected women everywhere. Women who aren't allowed to vote, who aren't allowed to drive, who are sold or married like property, women who are not allowed a voice or an equal place in society. The only way to create change is to speak up and build strength in numbers.
I think the root of the issue here is the fact that we only have two major parties; it's like political civil war. I hope one day we have a legit multi-party system like so many other countries so that our politics are less polarizing, more diverse and prevents any single party from controlling everything. But it's kind of a Catch-22 because no one wants to vote third party until they have more power, but they're not going to have more power until people vote for them.
I'm super grateful to be born and raised in the United States where I can safely enjoy this freedom as well as others that we might take for granted sometimes like driving, education, and general independence. It's not isolation, exclusivity and walls but communication and building bridges that move us forward.