OPINION

This is why I'll be marching

Photo: Getty Images

This Saturday, women across the globe will march in protest against the inauguration of Donald Trump. Here, Marisa Bate pays tribute to all the women she will be marching for

Added on

By Marisa Bate on

I will march for the schoolfriend who, when we were 15, asked if I could keep a secret and told me how a taxi driver had locked her in his car and tried to raped her.

I will march for the women I know who have been hit and spat on and dragged across the floor by their hair. I will march when the trappings of silence and shame won’t let you. 

I will march for all the women who have brought up children on their own. 

I will march for all the little girls who have one parent; trust me, one is enough. 

I will march for all the women who have been stalked. To the man who used to press a balaclava-covered face against my mum’s living-room window: we’re marching towards you. 

I will march for all the women who have endured standing behind a man who refuses to take his rucksack off on the Tube. Rest assured, there’s a special circle in hell for those men

I will march for all the women who have been groped and catcalled and told they are a “fucking bitch” when they refused to smile. Like I have, like you have, like we all have. 

I will march for the all women who don’t think they can, who don’t think they are smart enough, or who think they could never be President, or whose Year 8 English teacher accused them of plagiarising and gave them an E (an E!), like mine did. We are good enough, we are smart enough (and we are pretty fierce at rhyming couplets). 

I will march for all the women in offices who are currently being sidelined for trying to continue the human race. We know what you’re doing and we are marching. 

I will march for every time some arsehole complains a woman is cycling too slowly. We can cycle – and march – however we like. 

I will march for every time I or any girl or young woman or middle-aged woman or older woman has looked in the mirror and wished we were thinner; for every time I (and all of us) have chosen not to wear something because we’re so repulsed by ourselves. Our marching is louder than your messages of self-loathing. 

I will march for all the women who have endured standing behind a man who refuses to take his rucksack off on the Tube. Rest assured, there’s a special circle in hell for those men. 

I will march for all the single women who feel that they have failed and can't see their abundance of successes. 

As a white, Western, middle-class woman born into opportunity via the Home Counties and a BBC accent and a first-class state school, I will march for all the women who aren’t seen or heard as I have been. Armed with solidarity and a hefty portion of privilege, I will march for all the women society deems invisible, through age or poverty or race or gender or sexuality or disability or which side of a border they were born on. I will not speak for you, but I will stand, and march, alongside you. 

I will march for all the women history hasn’t bothered to remember, like the Barnbow Lasses, 35 working-class women killed in an ammunition factory in Leeds during the First World War. And all the women and girls in this country our government is still forgetting to remember, like those in Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre, or those who live in poverty when funding to vital services has been slashed, always disproportionally affecting women, and specifically women of colour. 

I will march for every woman in Sunderland who will soon no longer has access to a refuge. I will march for every woman in America who wants an abortion, for every woman who relies on Planned Parenthood for live-saving cancer screenings, for every woman who UK family courts have permitted to be cross-examined by their violent ex-partner, for every woman in Russia who is now living in a country that has just softened its domestic violence laws, for every woman in Saudi who is told they can’t drive or ride a bike

I will march for all the young women on campuses who haven’t been believed, who have been ostracised, who have been mocked and blamed. I will march for all the women who had the audacity to wear a short skirt and have a drink. 

I march completely inspired by Alicia Garza and Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi (founders of Black Lives Matter), and Brittany Packnett, (social justice campaigner and advisor to Obama), a new generation of black female leaders.

I will march for all the girls who have experienced or seen things little girls never should. Our marching won’t make it right, but it might let you know that we’re here.

I will march, even when some say marching is futile, or feminism has become watered down by being so fashionable, or shake their heads and wonder where we’ve been all this time. I will march because marching is solidarity and because marching isn’t a exclusive club of the most committed – it’s the point at which a society comes together and says, "Enough, no more, not again. We will not accept this."  

This – and these women – is #WhyIMarch

@marisajbate

Sign up

Love this? Sign up to our Today in 3 email to receive the latest stories straight to your inbox every morning

or
Photo: Getty Images
Tagged in:
womens history
World news

Tap below to add
the-pool.com to your homescreen

Close