I don’t always join manifestations in the city, and the reason behind it is very simple: they often end up with acts of violence and destruction, which is not only something that I stand against to, but I also find it damaging to the cause. By breaking proprieties, spreading rubbish in the streets, and acting outrageously, people take the focus out of the issues that they should be fighting against. The media will give more coverage to their behaviour than to the cause they were supposed to represent, and the manifest will be portrayed by violence. I strongly believe that when someone loses their temper, they lose the argument.
I’m also oppose to isolating groups and stopping them from joining a cause that they support solely because “it’s not about them”. Every help should be accepted and appreciated. When you’re fighting for equality, why should you isolate yourself even more by not letting those who are driven by compassion to fight for it? I often see feminists claiming that men should stay out of it, which in my eyes is ridiculously ignorant; instead of being grateful for someones support, which will continue to raise awareness on behalf of the feminist principles, they prefer to ban these individuals and widen the gap that prevents us from conquering gender inequality. I was raised by feminist parents, and one of them happens to be a man. They raised me not to discriminate people based on their gender, sexual orientation, nationality, social class, or anything that society is inclined to set them apart for. People who call themselves feminists while attacking other groups are the ones responsible for the misconceptions that the movement became connected with.
When I came across the Women’s March website, I was glad to see that they were organising a peaceful manifestation where everyone was welcome. They weren’t seeking attention brought by disorder and hostility, and had a great variety of people speaking on their behalf. I understand that certain people will do as they please and the organisation shouldn’t be accountable for their behaviour, but the regulations declared by the Women’s March made me feel represented, therefore eager to join the event.
Due to previous commitments, I arrived after the march took place, but just in time to the rally in Trafalgar Square. There were families, friends, couples, and people on their own of all ages and gender. The atmosphere was fantastic, so I decided to face my fear of crowds and walk towards the centre. Surprisingly, it didn’t take long for me to find my friends amongst the gathering. Unfortunately we couldn’t hear the organised talks very well, but being inspired by those who surrounded us was a great experience on its own. We saw an incredible amount of heart-warming, strong, funny, and witty signs, and even though the cause itself is not “fun”, we had a wonderful time standing for it with such a pleasant crowd.
I’ve been asked a few questions after the march: Why were you protesting against Donald Trump if you’re nor American or in America? And what difference does it make? What now?
Just because I don’t live in a certain place, it doesn’t mean that I don’t care about what happens with the people who find themselves there. How ignorant it is not to care about a problem just because it doesn’t affect you directly! It should also be pointed that the march wasn’t just against the person Donald Trump, but also what he represents. By having someone like him occupying such a powerful position, it gives others an excuse for inadequate behaviour. If the president is mocking those with disabilities, treating women with disrespect, speaking against immigrants amongst other things, the people who share his views will see this as an excuse to mistreat those around them. The affected individuals may feel weak and lonely, but when you see 100,000 people protesting against it, you see 100,000 who care. One march won’t remove Trump from his position, but it will give people confidence not to give up on their cause. One person alone won’t change the word, but thousands will make a difference, even if slowly. What now? Now we have a great number of people who were inspired by a manifestation and will use this to seek for ways to improve the current situation, eventually solving the problem. Families have exposed their children to the causes we were fighting against, and these children are part of a generation that will be aware of the mistakes made in the past, which will hopefully lead to a society that doesn’t make the same mistakes and seek constant improvement. Individuals, old and young, can use their experience at the march to be motivate when it comes to find new ways to strengthen their fight. Trump was elected because there are people who feel represented by him, but if we kept raising awareness of his problematic views, the numbers will decrease to the point that we have a society that can prevent a man like him to conquer a powerful position in a democratic nation.
This may be a long fight – people have been speaking against inequality for centuries – but we are more than we were 200 years ago. The consequences of fighting for our rights are not as severe as they were, and while they may be in some countries, it’s another reason why we should use our freedom to fight for an end that would benefit all. The progress seems to be slow, but we’ve achieve so much over the years, and I’m certain that greater changes will come as long as we don’t give up.