The power of femininity is something that can’t be confined to a single race, gender, person, binary. This weekend I attended my second annual women’s march. I know there’s a lot of controversy around the march: its inclusivity, its purpose, its achievements. From an outside perspective it’s understandable. Who am I-- a white, privileged, straight female-- to take away the opinion of someone of greater minority in this country. It’s not my place to do so. But to that I add, the purpose of the women’s march and the feminist movement in general is inclusivity. To me, feminism should not be seen in isolation. Women are a minority group all there own but also exist in others, making this a fight for the equality of all races, cultures, sexual orientations and genders. You don’t have to be a woman to feel feminine. That’s why I march, because I am entitled to my femininity. I think it’s one of the only things anyone should feel properly entitled to.
This understanding definitely wasn’t cultivated overnight. I think in the year that’s passed since I marched in Birmingham, the idea has blossomed in parallel to my own venture into womanhood. Looking at myself a year ago, I had an idea of what it meant to be a woman. I marched for the hope of what it could mean. I was filled with fear and anger and confusion. But this year, things were different. This year I marched with celebration, with excitement for the opportunities the future holds. I marched for myself, for friends and family, for American women, for women living in third world countries, for women who are victims of human trafficking, for transgender women, for men. I marched for what I wish to see: freedom and empowerment in every facet of the world we know. Lofty, right? I don’t care. I believe it’s possible, even if I don’t see it in my lifetime.
A year’s time has made me tired of listening to people complain about the things they can’t change and laughing at me when I say I can. To those who believe that marching, protesting and speaking out is a lost cause, I say you’re wrong. Inspire one person, inspire yourself. That is change. In a world where so many people stay stagnant, make a difference. Yesterday, I had the privilege of interviewing several people of all ages, races and genders who also participated in the march. When I asked them what the movement meant to them, they all had distinctly unique answers that led back to one common denominator. Change.
Right now seems like a terrifying time to live in our world. But right now is the most exciting time to be alive. There’s a wide open, fertile landscape ready to be sowed with changed. The only thing we have to do is plant the seeds.
Photos by Coco Hubbeling