Sexism Has Got to Go!

I am so, so thrilled about yesterday’s Women’s March in Washington, D.C. (USA)! I got to march with the No Limits for Women delegation. [No Limits for Women is a project of the RC Communities in which groups of Co-Counselors go to non-RC events and share what we’ve learned in RC about ending sexism and male domination.]

One of the most important things we did was to use the words “sexism,” “women,” and “girls” in our chants. At this moment, when the word “sexism” struggles to exist in mainstream spaces, progressive and otherwise, it was so excellent to march with a multi-racial, multi-age group of about fifty RC women and men, delightfully shouting, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, sexism has got to go.” And, “What do we want? No limits for girls/women! When do we want it? Now!” I think it was good that we looked like we were having fun taking the position that girls, women, and our liberation are primary. We were a very attractive group.

I have been discharging since I got home on the contradiction of knowing that millions of people globally took a public stand. Given the confusion and restimulation surrounding Trump’s election and now presidency, it felt so important to start with the perspective, the reality perspective, that as sisters, with allies, we can challenge sexism (wherever we are in our understanding of it).

In travelling to the march, being at the march, and leaving the march, there were many opportunities to engage with others. At rest stops along the highway, women were quickly figuring out who was going to the march and having conversations with each other. We did a lot of waiting in lines, which gave us good excuses to talk and listen to others. During the speeches before the march, we were literally squished against each other. After a few hours, when people were getting antsy [restless, impatient] and beginning to chant, “Start the march,” I turned to a man nearby, smiled, and said, “Oh, this is a good place to listen to women speak.” (He did stop complaining.)

It was tremendous to get to start the Trump administration with physically standing with thousands. We needed to see each other. One Co-Counselor remarked that this was reality. We have been up against such a big defeat. I will keep the picture in my mind, for a long time to come, of all the women who were present.

I have heard several people client about their discouragement—in particular, how there were not enough women of color at the marches. And that is definitely true. Personally, fighting to have other Black women from my RC Region travel down to D.C. with me was key. (And white women backed me to do this.) I think we cannot underestimate what it means for Black women and other women of color—even those who have gotten to do a ton of discharging—to decide to be at these women’s marches. I am learning a lot, and quickly, about ways to lovingly, persistently, and without judgment hold out to other women of color that we can be there. Prior to the march, I saw a Facebook post written by another Black woman who was restimulated by white women who had voted for Trump; she was deciding not to march. I shared her post and wrote a little bit about understanding her feelings, but I included that I planned on going. I tried to communicate that she was my sister; that I understood the feelings, as they were rooted in racism and sexism; and that there was a perspective to take about insisting on being there. I like to think of this as organizing—there will be more actions; this is just one of them.

I think a key struggle will continue to be figuring out real unity among women, given how racism has divided us. How do we acknowledge the forces that divide us, assume that every woman—were she not deeply oppressed—wants every other woman as her sister, have expectations of each other, and not require perfection or the absence of distress to move forward?

As the dust settles from the march, I think the successes of it will be challenged on the basis of racism. I’m interested in discharging and figuring out how to put out thinking and perspective where I can.

I could write a lot more, but mostly I feel very, very happy about what took place this weekend.

In love, sisterhood, and solidarity,

Tokumbo Bodunde

Brooklyn, New York, USA

Reprinted from the e-mail discussion list for RC Community members

(Present Time 187, April 2017)

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00