We are living through dark times. There are a lot of moments where I feel like we are going backwards, and that all the struggle is for nothing. That being said, I felt such a sense of solidarity, joy and optimism seeing women come together to make their voices heard over the weekend. It was such a beautiful thing to see the many women’s marches around the world totally eclipse the inauguration – this weekend, love undoubtedly trumped hate.
To all the women who marched, spoke, shouted, tweeted, wrote, drew, painted, sewed or photographed this weekend – thank you. Thank you for using your voices. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the beautiful thing you created.
And to the women I know – and one or two men – for whom speaking out is a daily occurrence, not limited to protests or events – I see you. I appreciate you. I know you are probably told you are too political, that you are aggressive, that you need to be more accepting of others’ viewpoints, that you should just let it go… Well you’re not, you don’t and you shouldn’t. You are so important. As J.K. Rowling says, “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”
To those who are silent, who keep their opinions to themselves, who take the ‘safe’ route of disinterest and apathy… If you have a voice to protest inequality, please use it. Don’t stand idly by. Don’t use the excuse that you don’t know enough to have an opinion – thanks to the internet, we have a whole world of information at our disposal. Educate yourself and speak, on behalf of yourself, but – more importantly – on behalf of those whose voices aren’t heard. Use your voice to lift up their voices. Use your empathy to see that issues of inequality affect us all, whether we realise it or not. Don’t wait for someone else to take a stand.
“To sin by silence, when we should protest, makes cowards out of men.”
(Ella Wheeler Wilcox)