“Our march forward does not end here”

A look at the Womxn’s March in Seattle.

This past weekend, we saw an inspiring day of solidarity when millions of people united internationally in a march toward social equity and justice.

In Seattle, the headquarters of GeekGirlCon, more than 200,000 people peacefully walked a 3.6-mile route from Judkins Park to the Seattle Center on Saturday.

“This is not about denigrating Trump. We’re here to lift up the voiceless,” one Northwest supporter said.

Thousands shared that sentiment.

Despite the fear, sadness, and anger caused by the election and inauguration, the energy surrounding the inclusive march focused on standing up for our rights, our safety, our health, and our families.

“We believe that Women’s Rights are Human Rights and Human Rights are Women’s Rights,” Women’s March on Washington posted in its unity principles. “We must create a society in which women—including Black women, Native women, poor women, immigrant women, disabled women, Muslim women, lesbian queer and trans women—are free and able to care for and nurture their families, however they are formed, in safe and healthy environments free from structural impediments.”

Strangers hugged, wept happy tears, sang songs, laughed at clever signs, and shared hope by supporting one another at the march.

These photos and videos show some of those empowering moments:

Some think pieces and social media content showed mixed emotions on the march nationwide.

Here’s a few of those post and excerpts from articles.

“In its wake, many of those with the most at stake, particularly people of color, have reserved some doubts about what this burst of civic mobilization will mean going forward,” journalist Devon Maloney wrote. “Among the celebration, hugs, and chants, many in the crowd wondered aloud where the millions of white people who turned out were when Black Lives Matter activists were being assaulted for protesting anti-black police brutality, or on behalf of Standing Rock and Flint, Michigan.”

“I felt equally inspired to see white, Latino, Asian, indigenous, Muslim, undocumented, sexual assault survivors, queer, trans and disabled people take the stage to speak out about the importance of intersectionality and diversity,” culture writer Zelba Blay wrote in an article.  “It didn’t feel good to see the numerous signs that centered feminism around having a vagina, harmfully excluding trans and nonconforming protestors.”

The Root wrote about the above viral photo in an interview with the sign holder, Angela Peoples.

The Root asked: “There were a lot of black women expressing on social media the hurt of seeing so many white women coming together for this march, but not showing up when we march. Do you have any words for those women?”

Peoples said, “The only words I have are, “I love you and I see you.” When black women expressed those feelings, I saw white women and gay men [saying it’s divisive]—some of the same shit that people are saying to me about the poster. That also hurts because we’re only being seen when we’re coming together behind you. When we’re speaking about our pain, when we’re asking you to show up, then it’s divisive, then it’s somehow detrimental to the broader cause. That’s simply not true.” Read the full interview here.

In Seattle, organizers adopted “women” with an “x” to promote intersectionality in its movement, acknowledging that the term “woman” can itself be exclusionary in its adherence to binary conceptualizations of gender.

Seattle organizers wrote in the march’s mission, “We continue to hold these difficult discussions surrounding race, since it has consistently played a huge role in the fight for gender equality. It is vital that we continue to incorporate people of color in these discussions, and that we learn from history. By promoting intersectionality within our movement, we hope to elevate the level of understanding for all marginalized groups, as they will be most affected by the Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, classism, racism, and sexism of this new administration. If we do not prioritize the most vulnerable voices, then we will not succeed as a movement.”

In a statement released just two days after the Womxn’s March on Seattle, organizers said they are regrouping  in order to identify next steps. But with the passion of the march fresh in their minds, organizers made the following pledge:

“We vow, in our daily lives, to question the status quo; to conscientiously and constantly ask who isn’t at the table; to bring up equity in the most banal situations so that it becomes embedded in our personalities and our souls, regardless of comfort levels and polite dominant culture norms.”

“We vow to trust womxn, to lift them up, to lift up people of color, LGBTQI people, and people of other abilities, and trust these people as leaders in this movement, and in our professional lives.”

“We vow to value the words, actions and involvement of marginalized people and neighborhoods of color more than we value statements from politicians.”

“We vow to be brave in our discussions, and to pursue the intersectionality of our experiences.”

“We vow to confront the daunting complexities and subtleties of oppressions with open minds and the promise to believe the oppressed.”

GeekGirlCon shares in this vow Just a few days after the election, we posted this reminder of our mission and dedication to our community:

“Six years ago, GeekGirlCon was founded on the belief that anyone can be a geek and that geek spaces can and should be inclusive, welcoming, and accessible to all. Our convention—which this year had over 11,000 attendees—seeks to teach, appreciate, and inspire geeks from all walks of life. We celebrate diversity because we each have unique experiences that are worth sharing. When we say ‘Every Geek, Everybody,’ we absolutely mean it.” You can read our full post here.

Many members of the GeekGirlCon team proudly joined the march because we believe everybody deserves a place where they can fearlessly and fiercely be themselves.

We will continue to work toward a better future for women in STEAM fields, games, comics, and more. We will keep carving out and embracing spaces for us to do what we love.

If you joined the march, in Seattle or internationally, we’d love to hear why and what you are fighting for going forward. Share with us below, or on our Facebook page, Twitter, or Instagram.

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Ashli Blow
“Rock On!”

Ashli Blow

Ashli is a news writer and digital producer who loves comic books.

One response to ““Our march forward does not end here””

  1. […] year has been a challenging one for most of us who follow politics. From the Women’s March to the March for Science to the numerous Black Lives Matter Marches, activism and getting involved […]

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