I don’t agree with the plan for the Seattle Womxn’s March to be done in silence, but I will support my sisters in arms because that is what democracy is about — not always agreeing but being there for each other when it counts.
I am excited to join the Womxn’s March in Seattle on Saturday, but also a little unsettled. I understand why organizers have decided to walk in silence, but many civil rights marches used gospel and folk music to uplift and inspire strength. I believe that marching silently may send the wrong message.
Women have been subjected to rape, unequal education, unfair wages and so much more. By being silent, what message are we expressing? That we don’t like the current climate but we remain silent?
I also am concerned that the diversity in the United States may not be fully represented. Though I admire and respect all the famous women in our history who will be remembered and represented in larger-than-life puppet figures, I want to remind everyone not to forget the millions of other women who have been subjected to inequalities and injustices:
Chinese women falsely labeled prostitutes as part of a government agenda to prevent their immigration, Japanese women who toiled in the sugar-cane fields and later faced a life in World War II internment camps, indigenous women who were raped and killed, and African women who bore the chains of slavery.
There are millions more stories about the women who have labored and continue to for their families, communities, colleagues and justice.
My own story: My immigrant mother worked in a meatpacking plant until she was injured, which left her with three ruptured discs. She worked so I could pursue my education and dreams. I wrote part of my dissertation while in the hospital with my premature son. Today, I teach at Cascadia College in Bothell, while doing research.
I don’t want Saturday’s march to define us as silent and mostly white. I want us to embrace our diversity and share our experiences because no matter how big or small, we continue to be the building blocks and pillars of society.
And I, for one, am tired of remaining silent. Though I will march, I hope that organizers and supporters will find voice and not only speak out but act out — we need to put plans in motion, such as starting a petition to dissolve the Electoral College, which is rooted in slavery; to have our cyber community fight back against hacking, fake news and bot-driven propaganda; to boycott products by companies that support misogyny, racism and homophobia, and so much more.
So, despite not agreeing with the silent march, I will support my sisters in arms because that is what democracy is about, not always agreeing but being there for each other when it counts.