Reflections on the Inauguration and the Women’s March on D.C

Expos

Saturday morning, I rode a metro at 6 AM filled with pink knit hats.  I chanted when Janelle Monáe brought out Mothers of the Movement, and I sang when Alicia Keys came on stage. The Women’s March was electric; the resistance is very much alive in such troubling times.

                    

If I don’t actively fight for all causes, does that mean I can’t fight for any? How can I be intersectional without diluting the causes that I hold in greater priority than others? Is it ethical to value certain causes much more than others for purely personal reasons? Is it possible not to?

                    

In my philosophy class the following Monday, my Muslim friend stood up and talked about how speeches from black and Muslim women were constantly interrupted by other women shouting “MARCH” repeatedly. And then the class went on. No one paid any heed to her words. Her passionate outcry, nudged aside, was a replay of what she saw in the women’s march.

                    

Throughout the campaign, Asian-Americans have been marginalized and neglected. But what is Asian-American identity? Is it just a conflict between Asian culture and American culture? If we don’t know who we are, how can we expect to have a voice in political discourse?

                    

How many hours am I supposed to spend trying to convince my right-leaning friends that what is happening is not okay? Does this mean I am intolerant of others’ beliefs? Does this make me a sore loser?

                    

Because of the Muslim ban, my friend’s family is fractured indefinitely. Her grandfather is old. He may not survive until after “indefinitely.” She is scared. This kind of policy is not new, but it also should not be normal.

                    

What was most striking about the inauguration was how similar the rhetoric was on both sides of the political spectrum. The majority pro-Trump inauguration speech attendees, and the anti-Republican parade protesters, seemed to both be crying out for the same thing: for better education, for jobs to stay in America, for true representation, etc…. Are differences in this country so irreconcilable? Can there even be a middle ground?

                    

I’m glad I participated in the women’s march, even if I don’t feel informed enough to champion every cause that was represented there. The sum of them all necessitated taking a stance. I loved the positivity and optimism of the march, and the good vibes that circulated all around.

                    

The energy at the Women’s March was indescribable, and I had never felt such a feeling of togetherness with hundreds of thousands of people like I did that day. The march was filled with such love, strength, and empowerment, and it was truly amazing to see the power of inclusive and intersectional solidarity. While there is so much work to be done, the Women’s March gives me hope for our future.

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