Just yesterday I attended my first ever Women’s March in London and I thought now would be a great opportunity to write down some of my thoughts.
I actually wrote my 12,000-word university dissertation on the Women’s March in 2017 so I would say I’m generally quite clued-up on what it’s about, what it’s for, what it’s trying to raise awareness of, how, and who, it’s organised by.
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend any of the previous Women’s Marches due to university and exams (eurgh) but finally, in 2019, the opportunity came! I was so excited to go (even though I was attending on my own).
In some ways, I quite enjoyed being on my own at the march as it gave me the chance to look around, reflect and actually take in everything that was going on. With so many people attending (I still don’t know exact figures) it can be a bit of a sensory overload; everyone is wearing colourful hats, t-shirts; everyone holds signs reading different messages; some people bring their dogs, their children; the press are there, weaving in between you to try and get photos of the “best” or most “controversial” signs/t-shirts; there’s helicopters flying overhead and police vans following you to make sure nothing gets out-of-hand. It could have been an overwhelming experience…
However, I found attending the march to be a breath of fresh air. I wasn’t bothered that for most of the time I stood/marched on my own, watched the speakers on my own and even cheered on my own; I felt that it was my responsibility to march for all the women who couldn’t march and I wouldn’t compromise that for fear of looking stupid standing there chanting on my own. It was important to show people that these issues are still real and many, if not all, women experience them on different levels daily.
I loved all the different signs people had spent time making. I loved the way the women (and men!) held them with pride and smiles over their faces. Here’s some of my favourites:
**(All photos are my own)**
I love that there was such a wide range of signs, from anti-Trump, anti-Brexit, feminist slogans, ending period poverty… It really felt like the space was for everyone.
It felt strange to be surrounded by a group of like-minded, kind-hearted people. We all had the same overarching ideas; to end misogyny, smash the patriarchy and support all women. I’ve never been in a situation where, although anger and frustration were the main emotions fuelling us, there wasn’t any negativity in people’s behaviours. People were very accepting of everyone.
For those few hours, I felt like part of a community. As we watched the likes of Helen Pankhurst speaking in Trafalgar Square, there was a sense of unity. I felt comforted to be around people that felt the same as me.
My advice to anyone considering going to an event like this is to go! Even if you’re on your own. I promise you won’t feel alone.
I marched for all women. So that future generations don’t have to keep protesting the same sh*t. I marched because men and women are not yet equal in society. The structures in our society have made that so. The patriarchy is still rife. Every day women still say “me too”. Every day women are made to feel scared to walk home in the dark. Every day trans women, disabled women, women of colour, LGBTQIA+ women, sex workers and working-class women are made to feel less. I could go on (and on and on). There are a thousand reasons why I marched on Saturday.
I feel really happy that I marched in 2019 for the women’s wave and I’m looking forward to attending more marches in the future!
What about you? Did you attend the Women’s March?
Thanks for reading,