We’re not marching, and we have our reasons.
Low-level wages and weekend retail work schedules. Single-parent family responsibilities. Budget woes that mean choosing between food, utilities, and bus fare or gas money. Irritable bowel syndrome, postural orthostatic tachycardia, chronic fatigue syndrome, lyme disease, arthritis, broken bones, or any other obvious or not so obvious physical limitations. Language or cultural hurdles. PTSD. Social anxiety. Fear.
Why aren’t you going to the Women’s Marches Saturday, January 18?
For me, it is complex post-traumatic stress disorder, or CPTSD, from domestic abuse, a traumatic brain injury, and cancer treatments. Being in a huge crowd with limited sight lines, a constant thrum of noise, and random movement is one giant eye, body, and brain twitch that overwhelms my system and can crash it for hours or days afterward.
I want to be there!
Maybe tens of thousands of other people do, too. It’s hard to deal with the fear of missing out on such a powerful, emotionally connecting, social good, construct-shifting gathering of people around the globe. That’s made even harder by the fact that the other obvious ways of supporting—by donating, buying merchandise, or volunteering time—can be further alienating to people who have limited resources or are living outside the margins.
Thankfully there are some alternative ways people can participate on Saturday and beyond.
Take a Minute with 1@1
This is a global minute of silence to stand in solidarity for women’s equality at 1 PM ET on the day of the marches. 1@1 also has an “Each 1, Reach 1” page that offers additional ways to support by working on outreach to non-voters.
Watch a Live Stream
Womxn’s March Denver will have live video on the organization’s Facebook and Instagram pages featuring interviews with non-profits and grassroots organizations throughout the day, with march photos and real-time updates on Twitter. They’ll post video after the event, too.
WomensMarchGlobal.org organizers have committed to sharing video and pictures from more than 100 of their chapters as they come in throughout the day. You’ll find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
The Washington, D.C. based WomensMarch.com has not announced official streaming, but it has been done in previous years, so check the site and popular hashtags (listed below) to follow along.
In addition to these livestreams, after the march you can listen to the Dear White Women podcast, which will be recording live at Denver’s Womxn’s March and posted later. Dear White Women features uncomfortable conversations about race, gender, politics, and intersectionality, and this session will focus on sexual assault and the #MeToo movement. “When we put women before whiteness, we can truly harness the power of our collective outrage to push for justice for all,” says the session description.
Join the conversation on social media and chime in with your support, perspective, pictures, or “likes” on #womensmarch2020, #womensmarch, #womenrising2020, #womxnsmarch, #womxnsmarch2020, #MarchForOurHumanRights, and #WhyIMarch.
Add your city name to the end of the hashtag to connect and participate locally; for example: #womexnsmarchseattle or #womensmarchnyc. A quick search on your social media platform will show you the popular tags.
Chilean protest group, Las Tesis, known for their #metoo protest in Chile, created a song and dance that is being called a “global feminist protest anthem.” Un violador en tu camino (A Rapist in Your Path) will be performed at the D.C. event with the crowd joining in.
Learn the dance at home, and delve further into the historical context, specific moves, and lyrics in this 3 minute video. Texting “Women Rising” to 40649 will connect you with the timing cues for the moment of silence and the dance.
There are also a number of things we can all do long after the marchers have packed up and gone home.
Sign a Petition
The Commonwealth of Virginia just made history as the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. Nevertheless, there is still so much work to do for equality rights and policies for all people in this country. Search Change.org and I Petitions for topics and causes that you’re interested in and make an impact by lending your name and support.
Ready to take another step? Find a group working and acting on the issues you care about through Action Network or MoveOn.
Push Legislators to Support the ERA
Join the I Heart the ERA postcard writing party, Feb 11. Make postcards and send them to legislators.
Finally, know that the marches are not over in January. Keep an eye on the Womxn’s March on Seattle, slated for March 8, which is also International Women’s Day. Led by Seattle organizer Phoenix Johnson, a veteran who is familiar with accommodating trauma needs, Womxn’s March on Seattle is making plans to include quiet tents, ear plugs, and holistic types of assistance like lavender sachets and massage therapy.
For all those who do march this weekend, hold a space for us, your sisters in spirit who are cheering on the mission from home, at work, in the hospital, or while on a healing walk in nature.