On Saturday I went to Washington DC to participate in the women’s march (don’t worry this really isn’t a political post). Being with so many women working towards a common goal fill me with a sense of belonging that I don’t often feel as a spinster.
Marching was a transformative experience for me. I hate crowds but I felt very safe — women saying excuse me for bumping into you, reminding each other to watch out for curbs and pylons that were difficult to see in the crowd — it made me realize that the times I thought the most safe most loved in the mood and had the most meaningful experiences have all been almost exclusively in groups of women.
I come from a large family with lots of female cousins. My happiest memories with them or of sitting at kitchen table or at launchers at barbecues celebrating first communion’s and graduations. This network of women in my family taught me to care for babies and for old people, how to care for the grieving and the dying, and how to get in a fight and then make up afterwards.
In college, I was in a sorority (no not like that kind of sorority girl) which again taught me what a determined group of women can accomplish. The times we worked together on recruitment drive, a charity event, or a project taught me to listen to new ideas, be open to criticism of my own ideas, and when to fight for what I believe in and went to let something go.
During the March I was excited to realize that I was feeling the same sense of the fulfillment and purpose as I have with other groups of women. It reminded me that while my main reasons for marching were reproductive rights and healthcare, other women were marching for assault survivors, or equal pay, or Black Lives Matter, or climate change, and that even though we all had our pet concerns, we were all literally marching in the same direction.
For those women who thought they didn’t need the march, that’s ok. We marched for you, too.