#WeNeedToTalk: Why I don’t support Women’s Marches
I know this may come as a shocker to most of you but I hate marches. I completely support everyone’s right to protest and march for something they believe in but other than Selma has it ever really worked? I know, I know I seem so cynical but I’ve never really found there to be any benefit of marches other than saying “we as a people believe in this”. Which if I’m being honest, I can think of a hundred different ways to make that statement that doesn’t require me getting out of bed at 7am to risk being trampled by a bunch of loud people.
For those of you that have gotten to know me personally or through my work and podcast and blog you know that I’m a champion for equal rights across the board. Everything from BLM to LGBTQ to a women’s right to choose. I actively express my beliefs and do what I can to make a difference. But the one thing I can’t bring myself to participate in is marching for a cause. But more specifically, the women’s march. Why you may ask? Well it’s simple: white women, y’all need to do better. Now, some of you are already triggered by me saying this, and if you are, you need to ask yourself why. And some of you are probably asking “well how can I do better if I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.”
We currently live in a world where racial tensions are at an all time high. This isn’t to say that things haven’t improved since the 60’s but to say that things are copacetic and for lack of a better word, fixed, would be to lie. The percentage of women of color and specifically black women that are in this country is extremely low compared to the percentage of white women. It's already hard to feel like this is a safe place to reside in. We in general are constantly trying to acclimate and fit in to a world that is CONSTANTLY telling us we do not fit in. From our hair, to our body shape, to our clothes, to our economic status. There is an EXTREMELY painful history of black women being thought of as less than human, dispensable, and worthless. We carry those feelings and that PTSD in our DNA.
The past weekend was the annual women’s march and one thing I’ve noticed over the years is that feminism as a whole has a major issue with intersectionality and inclusivity. Feminism constantly uses black women and other women of color for the cause but call us divisive when we want to bring up things specific to us. Black women will show up for damn near everybody, but no one shows up for us, BUT us. I'm not trying to speak for every black woman in this country, but in my experience, this is what I’ve observed. I was black before I was a woman and that is one fact that will never change. And women’s marches seem to always neglect, dismiss and disregard the issues affecting black women and other women of color.
So like I said, white women, ya'll have GOT to do better. Everything from not letting people celebrate that 100 years ago WOMEN got the right to vote, because not all women did, to supporting women of color in all they are fighting for as well. If we want to change what feminism looks likes it has to be because white women choose to do so. There is in general a level of sensitivIty and support that is ALWAYS shown to members of the LGBTQ community and to survivors of sexual assault, but when it comes to black women and other women of color as a whole where is your filter? Where is your sensitivity and compassion? Where is your support?
PLEASE. Do better. Maybe once y’all do better, you might convince us to show up and march along side you. But remember the work doesn't stop at the march, it only begins there.