Hell hath no fury like millions of women scorned. As an American in a foreign country, often the first thing strangers ask me about is the election. This can be a hard question to answer when I, like many Americans, found myself floundering after the results of the elections came out in November. Trust me, the urge was there to offer up my couch here in Ireland in case anyone feels the need to leave the U.S..
But I firmly believe that now is not the time to pack up and leave. Our nation voted, the results of which we need to accept as the very foundation on which this country is built. While I am frustrated, heartbroken, and honestly deeply confused; the world is not over.
The sun will rise tomorrow and the next day and we will have to meet it when it does.
The sun will rise tomorrow and the next day and we will have to meet it when it does. I as always, hope that our better angels will prevail. So after watching the Inauguration of our 45th president on Friday night, I showed the next very morning with 300 of my closest friends and I marched. Reading about the Women’s Marches across the country was the brightest way to beat the gloom following the inauguration.
Of the millions of people who marched, not a single arrest was recorded during these protests. How amazing is it that we live in a country where a massive group of likeminded, strong, smart women and allies can get together and expressed their concerns and opinions in a constructive way. And it wasn’t just in America, or Galway, Ireland but globally.
I attended the Women’s March in Galway, held in Eyre Square, at the center of the city.
There were marches in solidarity on all 7 continents including Antarctica. There were two in Ireland alone. Speaking with organizers before the march, they were expecting about 100 people. Galway is a small city and though there are quite a few Americans in the area, they were not sure how the turn out would be. We were all pleasantly surprised to find ourselves in a growing crowd of 300+. The Women’s March was joined by the Galway Anti-Racism Network and many other groups from the community.
The march was started off with speeches about tolerance, acceptance, solidarity, and empathy. Though it was clear that we were all frustrated with the status quo, the speeches endorsed nonviolent protest and suggested that the best way to fight growing intolerance is through even greater love.
The best way to fight growing intolerance is through even greater love.
I spoke with Caitlin Hughes, an American graduate student and organizer of the march in Galway. I asked her why it was important to her to be involved. Being an American in a foreign country, it sometimes feels like it is easier to bury your head in the sand and practice your Irish accent, but Caitlin held strong.
“I march because I woke up the day after the election feeling helpless, hopeless, and lost. Helping to organize the march gave me back my agency. Surrounded by people who still believe in inclusion and respect and peace bolstered me. I march because every young person should feel the support of their community lifting them up to their full potential, regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, wealth, religion, or any other denominator that this administration will use to divide us. I will continue to march and do as much as I can so no one will feel abandoned by their community.”
I marched because, like Caitlin, participating gave me back agency.
I marched on Saturday morning with 15 of my friends and more than 300 strangers who all believe that we are more united than divided. We believe that we can bring light to a darkening world so long as we have the courage to stand up and support each other. While I recognize that we have a long road ahead of us, I cannot help but be hopeful when I spent Saturday marching behind about 7 year old girls who lead the march chanting, “Love Trumps Hate.” And always remember, a woman’s place is in the Revolution.