Women’s March Because…

I attended the Women’s March in Chicago this weekend.

And I almost didn’t.

When a friend invited me to join her and her friends to the Women’s March in Chicago, I told her that I didn’t like big crowds. But then the night before I changed my mind and decided to join them. Why? Because I was wrong.

I used my introverted nature as an excuse to not participate in something I believe in and experience something in life. So I sucked it up, woke up at 6 a.m. the next morning and joined the group over to downtown Chicago where over 150,000 people showed up. (Now they’re saying it was an estimated 250,000 people.)

It was my first protest and I was a little nervous. However, I was surprised that the protest was very peaceful and everyone was really friendly. From the moment we got on the train, random people were saying hello to us. When people bumped into me they apologized. And the signs were amazing and creative.

Surprisingly I didn’t mind the large crowd. I embraced it. I was happy that I attended. This march took place in several cities throughout the United States as well as internationally.

Later that day I was asked what the point was in all of this. So here is my answer.

Because I’m a minority. Because I am a first born generation American. Because I’ve been asked one too many times if I speak English. Because a professor in college humiliated me in front of the whole class by asking me if English is my second language. Because I’ve been told I don’t sound American. Because I’ve been told that I don’t look American. Because even if English was my second language and I didn’t “look” or “sound” American or not speak a word of English, it shouldn’t matter.

Because I am a woman. Because I have friends in the LGBTQ community and I love them. All of them.

Because refugees belong in America just as much as I do. Because immigrants are people, too. And Muslims have the right to practice their religion.

Because at a previous job, I had to report a male employee to HR for making me feel uncomfortable. Because just last week a former schoolmate randomly messaged me and started talking about masturbation (I wish I were kidding).

Because all of these issues is not just an American problem. It’s a worldwide problem.

Because it’s my body and my choice.

Because we deserve equality in all things. And because we live in inequality.

Because I am a nasty woman.

P.S. Listen to America Ferrera’s speech in Washington, D.C.

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2 Comments
  1. Priya, I had the EXACT same experience. I have missed out on protests in the past that I supported and wanted to show up for (mostly Black Lives Matter) because the idea of a huge crowd of strangers and an unknown situation was terrifying. I’m white and I’m not proud that I let my own discomfort and fear hold me back from doing what I felt was right. I, too, used being an introvert as an excuse not to participate, even while I knew deep down it didn’t give me a pass.

    I’ve made some important changes this year (uh, I got SOBER) and because of that I was able to get myself to reach out to friends and ask if I could go with them to the Women’s March. I wanted to be there even though the thought of it still terrified me. And same as you, I’m SO glad I went. There was nothing scary once I got there. And seeing how many people showed up to denounce hate and injustice (I live in Houston, TX so I wasn’t so sure) made me cry. I know it was a small action in the scheme of things, but it definitely gave me some hope and inspired me to take further action and search out ways to be a good ally.

    Thanks for writing this and sharing your experiences, Priya! I agree with everything you said and this was a powerful post.

    • Hey Ingrid,

      Congrats on getting sober! That’s amazing! I’m so glad you’re moving in the right direction.

      I’m glad you went to the Women’s March! There was nothing but love. I definitely use being an introvert as an excuse to not do a lot of things. While I think it’s important to listen to yourself and give yourself the necessary space to re-energize, it doesn’t mean, like you said, you get a pass on life.

      Hope you’re doing well. Keep up the good spirits!

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