Donald Trump is giving women nightmares. Many of them have reached out to me to say they are being seized by flashbacks of trauma and rape. They blame Trump’s rise to power. So do I: my own rape came flooding back to me in a dream the other night. It was stirred by the inauguration of the president I call our predator-in-chief.
It is this living nightmare that compels me to march this Saturday in Washington DC. I will never accept Donald Trump – a self-confessed sexual assaulter, a nationalist, an Islamophobe, a climate denier, and a racist – as my president. He is illegitimate, elected by less than a quarter of the population. His agenda of divisiveness, hate and misogyny is a danger to people here and everywhere.
I cannot speak for every person coming to DC and the 600 sister marches around the world. But I know that there are many different reasons that bring us to the streets this Saturday.
We are marching so that women have access to quality healthcare, affordable birth control and to protect women’s rights to abortion. And we do so for every sister who has been raped, or been a victim of incest, or harassed, or beaten, or sold, unvalued or paid less than a man.
We are marching to remember every sister who has been shot by the police, or grabbed or hurt at her workplace, or denied insurance for an abortion or medical needs, or threatened with deportation or surveillance by people screaming for a wall.
We are marching for Standing Rock, fighting to protect their water, their traditions and sovereignty over their land. We are marching so that black, brown, LGBT, Asian, Muslim, disabled women’s voices and concerns are front and center. We are marching for our mother Earth that we may devote ourselves to ending all forms of extraction, to finding our connection to her, to cherishing her and protecting her as she so generously gives us life.
We are marching with our sisters throughout the world who are on the devastating end of neoliberal policies wreaking havoc on their economies, land, livelihoods and safety. We are marching against US imperialist aggression and interventions that have led to the maiming, murdering, raping and destruction of women’s lives across the planet.
We are marching against a system of morbid inequality of wealth where eight men own as much wealth as 3.6 billion people.
We are marching to deepen a collective understanding of radical feminism – so we can offer an unapologetic assault on the racist patriarchy that has damaged so many of us.
We are marching so that women and men who are incarcerated, after years of being abused and impoverished, are seen and cared for and lifted – rather than being punished and abused even more.
We are marching because struggle is valiant and more satisfying than pursuing only our own personal happiness.
We are marching for strength in these coming years and for the ability to survive in a culture that erases and excludes and forgets women, and denies women their humanity, and refuses to recognize their achievements and all the ways they serve and lead selflessly. We are marching to link arms with friends, comrades and strangers so that the rhythm of our steps becomes the tempo of a new time and the unified chants of our voices become a clarion call.
We are marching to turn our fear and sorrow and shame to power and imagination. We are marching for another paradigm where the lack of ethics, morality, and truth that have brought us to this moment are transformed – into principles which will drive a powerful intersectional, spiritual movement of movements.
This march is built on a long line of women’s marches. We take part in it to honor our mothers whose bodies and beings and blood carved the path we are walking on. We are marching to find the new language of these times – built on a deeper education, radical listening, humility and empathy.
We are marching to be brave, to become willing to put our bodies on the line for any woman who is attacked for her race, religion, immigration status or for simply living in a woman’s body. And we are finding our courage in the escalating renaissance of resistance that was catalyzed the day Donald Trump was elected and is wild throughout this country and the world.
We are marching to sow more seeds and invite more women into that renaissance and to take the energy of this march and use it to set fires of resistance everywhere.
We are marching today so the next generation of girls don’t wake up with poisonous nightmares, but with radiant dreams
by Eve Ensler