by Amanda Ghosh
I know the Women’s March happened a while ago, roughly 19 executive orders ago, but daily resistance trumped the blog writing, which ultimately gave me one pun as well as new thoughts to work with.
Cheery. Antsy. Pink: The Women’s March in DC. It was warm, fuzzy and there were hundreds of pussy hats. It was empowering to swarm together in crowds of feminists. It was fun to meet up (eventually…) with so many of the BTWC team. It was precious to share the weekend with my friend Lucia, a lifelong soul sister who joined us from San Francisco. In my own personal experience, it was puissant to perform our Feminist Flashmob. (I chose the word “puissant” because it’s kinda like “pussy”) Our pop up performance piece and outstanding Lady Liberty puppet felt like an offering to the Women’s March. Together, Lady Liberty and the Feminist Flashmob we performed felt like a true “yes and” - the performer’s motto! YES we will engage; we will march. AND we will add to the experience with something memorable, share historical perspective and stories that might not otherwise be heard if it weren’t for art.
Overall, when I looked outside and around my personal experience, I noticed that although powerful and a big deal, the Women’s March was white.
It was warm and fuzzy and pink. It felt like we were missing the radical acceptance of all intersectional experiences, and it was missing the urgency and passion felt at previous Black Lives Matter events or the immediate Trump protests.
I was upset that people were complimenting the Women’s March for being so “peaceful” and “polite”. In my opinion, glorifying the fact that there were no arrests is a perspective drenched in privilege because there seems to be a clear correlation between police aggression and oppressed groups of people. I could go on about that...but I guess everyone has their own comfort levels and experiences with activism and this was the entrance point available that met them where they were at... anyways. Of course, I was grateful the Women’s March happened. People showed up. Those women were in DC shouting with signs instead of at brunch. (“Protest is the new brunch” - fellow BTWC collaborator, Jake Beck) But thinking ahead to persistent resistance, I was concerned and critical.
I admit now that I procrastinated on writing this blog post because I didn’t want to write a lukewarm or negative post. Although I did feel that the Women’s March was a huge success, I worried that it would be the one “big act of resistance” and then people would fall into complacency. I was hesitant to write a blog about the Women’s March that was tainted with my concern that still there are too few fighters continuing the long, hard fight.
But now, two weeks out, I feel relieved and ignited. I genuinely see a surge of resistance. Intersectional feminist activism. With all voices heard, all bodies fought for equally. We are marching on. The momentum continues. Together. I am thrilled by the mobilization and action I have seen and engaged in during the last fourteen days. Protests in solidarity with Muslims, Mexicans, Immigrants, LGBTQ+, meetings with newly formed activist groups, plus serious senator calling, faxing, and post-card writing. People showed up to protest the immigration ban with only hours notice to airports all around the country. Hell yes. Almost every night there is an event. I’ve gone to shakingly potent theater, made friends with subway riders on the way to activist events, and navigated the lack of cell-service challenge of finding people at crowded protests.
Even though I am horrified by DeVos and Bannon, It’s encouraging to see such a swell of resistance. I can actually feel the call to action in the air. Solidarity. Friends abroad have told me they called senators via skype even when they are out of the country, my mom faxed a ton of #NoDeVos papers to Republican senators all around the nation, and someone passed out free political cartoon postcards so that everyone could write to their senator. I have my senators numbers saved in my phone. Moving forward.
The other day I had felt conflicted between going to a protest, watching a politically charged theater piece, and going home to organize future resistance! How awesome to be over saturated and overbooked with such activism! Already there are rallies scheduled for months in the future and an entire day devoted to Planned Parenthood this Saturday! I am especially psyched because I’m teaching a donation based yoga class to raise money for the ACLU today! (You should totes be there.)
So, good start folks. Keep the ball rolling. The momentum must build. Now I am hopeful. I admit I was skeptical during the March, but people have shown up. Encouraging. Inspiring. The biggest part of life is showing up. We can do this. But also take care of yourself. It’s a marathon. Not a sprint. Practice self care. Do what you love to do. Spend time in good company. Eat and sleep well. Watch SNL (It’s so cathartic. And I hope Republican viewers googled “My Struggle” last Saturday!)
And keep marching on. We are the momentum. Together, we can rise up. Lead with your heart. Work is love made visible. Let the spirit of history be our guide.
Amanda - still wearing the pussy hat - Ghosh
(That last sentence includes my two current mantras, quotes by Khalil Gibran and John Lewis.)
Amanda Ghosh is a yoga teacher, theater maker and passionate activist living in NYC.
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