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The (Straight? Cisgender? Privileged? White?) Women’s March

By Thuy Nguyen

So I guess I was lucky. Or maybe oblivious or idealistic…but my experience at the sister march in my town was inspiring. It came together last minute by someone who originally planned it—I imagine—to show camaraderie with not only women but all people of different races, religious beliefs, immigrant/refugee statuses, and sexual and gender identities. More people came to show support than I could have dreamed.

I imagine that like the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., this was in the spirit of unity against a presidential administration that continually seeks to undermine equality and is a threat to American liberty and ideals. Women, men, and gender identities of all ages came to march in solidarity. That people cared so much and that we were rallying behind equality nearly brought me to tears.

Little did I know that this wasn’t everyone’s experience. It wasn’t until later that I  found out that the march wasn’t as inclusive as it appeared and merely magnified us vs. “them.” Women of color had to fight to be included and the LGBTQ community too was initially left out. It saddens me that intersectionality was an afterthought and it goes to show how much work we have ahead of us.

I’m trying to be optimistic and to use this as a reminder that change doesn’t come easily. There’s a long road ahead of us to fight to keep Planned Parenthood and VAWA funded, the ACA intact, abortion legalized and too many others to list. I hope the divisiveness felt at the march will be a turning point to unify us further. We’re going to need it, to support each other and to support the efforts to protect our rights and the truth.

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