2/22/17

Women's March SLC style

A month ago, I ended up at the Women's March in Salt Lake by accident. I was supposed to go back to my Vietnamese class but I ended up getting lost and swept in with the crowd. Plus, if I did decide to go back to campus, it would have been too late anyway. So as a spontaneous decision, I decided to join in on the march.

There were over six to ten thousand people marching that day. All of us heading in the same direction, the Capitol building at the top of State Street. It was interesting, weird, joyous, and worrying. I loved all the signs that were up like "I stand with my sisters, not just cis-ters," "If your feminism isn't intersectional it isn't feminism," "I stand with Planned Parenthood" and others. It was also comforting to know how much support there was about our hatred against injustice and the Trump administration. That no matter what, people were and are standing up and opposing the injustice this administration is bringing and the injustice that has always been out there regardless of who's the president.

What I loved about this march, in particular, was that it was organized by a woman of color named, Noor Ul-Hassan, who was a representative for Utah Women Unite. A group that "exists to protect and advance the rights of all Utah women and girls. This specifically includes Utahns from marginalized groups, including women of color, LGTBQIA+ individuals, women of all abilities and socioeconomic statuses" (Utah Women Unite). So from the start, this march's focus was going to be on intersectionality. Even though most women there probably can't identify because they're white and/or straight and/or able-bodied and/or middle class. But this march was important for people like me, in terms of knowing that even though we don't fit the white, straight, cis, able-bodied male model, that we still belong in the fight against injustice, that we still have a voice about what goes on in our future.

Utah Women Unite being who they are also got a lot of diverse speakers. However, it was hard to hear them or see them because I was on the third floor amidst other people trying to listen but mainly just taking pictures to prove that they were there that they do care about social justice or pretend that they genuinely care. That made me feel weird. It also made me wonder how many thought that the whole event was just "cool" or "trendy" and how many others will actually continue fighting against social injustice or just continue to stay silent when they see it happening.

It also felt a bit lonely standing among everyone and this quote by Angela Peoples explains it best.
Angela Peoples holding sign (Kevin Banatte)
"I know that a lot of the organizers, particularly of the D.C. march, did a lot of work to make sure that the speakers were diverse, that the issue points reflected black folks’ experiences; but there’s also this reality that when we talk about feminism in this country, the faces have been white. Without an effort by white women especially to make sure those spaces are reflecting the diversity of women and femme people, we’re not going to make the progress we need to."

So please, engage in social justice by donating to worthy causes, vote in every single election, keep up to date with what's happening in your community, call your representatives, email them, march, speak up when you see acts of injustice, and realize that feminism is more about gender. It's an intersectional movement that seeks to create equity for everyone involved. Also, realize your privilege. There were of course police at the march and they did not make any arrests because of the number of white people who were there. And also because white people aren't normally the target of violence by the hands of police.
As hazel scott said it best:







In other words, please be aware of your privilege and somehow use it to your advantage so you could push back against inequality but at the same time know when to stand aside and let the voiceless have a voice.

The women's march isn't just for women, it's also for everybody else whose voice hasn't been heard by the people who's supposed to represent us. It's also for people of color, disabled people, gender queer, trans, LGBTQIAP+, those who doesn't practice the Christian faith, the poor, and more. Please don't forgot that we also have a voice, one that's just as tired of all the injustices that continually happen around us and to us.
source: my instagram page
Note: Any pictures that I took of the march, I had to take on my blurry camera phone because I forgot to carry my camera with me that day.

And now the weather:
Rise Up by Andra Day
~ Stacy N.

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