Our March, What a Day!

When I was a child, my Mother told me something extraordinary. One afternoon, my parents had had a disagreement. Afterwards, my Mother told me, “Don’t worry, disagreements happen when there isn’t just one person doing all the thinking.” My Mother told me gold. 

That moment taught me to never think of myself as a woman standing up to a man, but rather, I’m a woman, having a disagreement with another person, who happens to be a man. Regardless of gender, disagree, yes, of course, but disagree with dignity. That’s what I saw at the Women’s March on Saturday.

The women’s march was the largest and most peaceful march in US history. Why’d we do it? Because it’s 2017 and women are still nagging about equal pay and the right to make decisions concerning our own bodies. Women around the world still don’t have access to equal education, health or political rights. Yes we’re STILL nagging over basic respect. 

It may have been the women’s march, but the men who marched with us were strong and kind. We all marched in solidarity and peace. We marched for one another. We marched, not against men, but against crimes against women. Crimes that range from high murder rates among pregnant women, sex trafficking, less pay on jobs, health concerns and everyday disrespect. Disrespecting women and children, never bodes well for any society. 

We were there to say, it’s bad enough things are so difficult, but we shouldn’t have to tolerate our leaders making condescending remarks on top of everything else. The march was in respect to one another’s pain and joy.  The march was for everyone who suffers from the effects of hate, bigotry and suppression.   

The march was colorful in skin tone, from light to dark, hair color—from silver grey to pink, to the homemade signs and those amazing pussy hats.

The colors were like a child’s palette, they ranged from shocking cotton candy pinks, to that soft baby pink, the one that makes you feel like you’re being cuddled. Bright blues and purples all blending and swirling like wet paint beneath an artists brush. 

Skin color is so absurd. Some people paint their skin, tattoo it, lighten it and even darken it. It would be funny, if it wasn’t so painful. Maybe we care so much about skin color because we don’t have fur, feathers or fins. My point is, if it weren’t skin, it would be fur, feathers or fins. The inner trait that gives rise to such absurdity as skin color or fur texture is a deep feeling of invisibility. 

The more invisible a person feels, the more likely they are to suffer from the energies of jealousy, greed and hate. We know these traits linger within all of us, in varying degrees. If we say to ourselves, not me, I’m not jealous of anyone, I’m not greedy and I certainly don’t hate, well, maybe one of two things are happening here. One is denial and the other is lack of introspection. 

We could all use improvement on sharing ideas, sharing the road, sharing the spotlight or whatever it may be. We could all improve in wanting others to be successful, truly successful. We could all listen more deeply and participate in loving service to one another.

When I was a teenager, people at my school would say derogatory things about Hispanics, as well as others. They would say to me, “ I can’t stand those people, they’re so—-.” I felt punched and I would defensively tell them, “Hey don’t say that, I’m one of them.” Their face would hold a moment of horrified embarrassment, then with a quick patronizing recovery, they’d say, “Oh, not you, you don’t look like them.”

There it was, out in the open, I didn’t look like my name. I was let off the hook, merely because my skin color didn’t qualify me to be look authentically latina or hispanic. I wanted to tell them how other people in my family looked. They were dark. Would that make a difference? 

It makes me understand what our fellow citizens from the Black Lives Matter movement are telling us, they’re letting people know that a person who is black or dark in skin color, is often treated differently on sight. I resented being able to hide in plain sight, but the Black Lives Matter movement says, some people don’t have that privilege, to hide in plain sight. A dark skinned individual is more likely to have suspicious thoughts projected on them than a light skinned person, regardless of their country of origin, race or religion. 

The Women’s March was about visibility, see us, hear us and feel us. It was about being there and being watchful for one another. I imagined our voices traveling upwards into the air like prayer wheels. The chanting, the signs, the passion. When you put that much energy into prayer wheels, they begin to roll like thunder across the plains. 

When the rain came, no one panicked. We felt purpose, intention and resolve together. We had each other’s backs. This is Unity, this is freedom of choice. We chose solidarity, that Saturday, we chose each other, in every color and every belief. 

We have to be watchful about suppressing those who disagree with us. Ignoring them or shunning them is a hollow solution. We must learn to be strong without violence, be intelligent without condescension and to march with dignity and solidarity. 

photos: Phil DeFalco

Let’s be watchful over one another. In these times, when there are cities whose citizens are under attack by their leaders and soldiers, we marched. Where there are leaders who suppress voices and choices, we marched. Voices were raised, guns were not, points were made, knives were not, crowds rolled through the streets, tanks did not, love pierced the sky, hate did not. Now that’s a display of strength, patience and resolve.  

Peace be with you


6 Responses

  1. Jackie, I see you peeking over the banner!!! Yes to all of what you’ve said. This is the 3rd wave of the feminist movement. I was involved w/ the 2nd wave and learned so much, and some of my sisters and brothers from that movement are alive today and were there at the March or supported it through money and other ways. NOW clarified to us that it is the National Organization FOR Women, not of women. It has always been inclusive and fought for many things that have benefited both men and women, like parental leave for the birth of a child. Thank you for this post and the incredible pictures and words of love, inspiration and hope.

  2. Thank you for your eloquent thoughts. I was there also. It was inspirational to be with so many positive individuals. No anger, no litter…only a positive vibrations. But the march is just the beginning not the end. Now, we must address and respond to each and every violation of human rights by this administration.

    I will not be silent as long as I am on this earth.

  3. Jackie, I just LOVE all of your posts and videos. So insightful, profound and inspiring!!! I also want to acknowledge your producer, “Buddy,” as well as your art director and filmmaker, Philip. This is a fabulous series.

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