Washington D.C.: 500,000
Los Angeles: 750,000
New York City: 500,000
In DC and across the world, from South Africa to South Korea, the Women’s March and all of its Sister Marches had overwhelming numbers. We’re talking millions and millions of people coming together to proclaim the simple (but somehow still controversial) message that women’s rights are human rights.
Journalist, feminist and activist Gloria Steinem called the marches “an outpouring of democracy like I’ve never seen in my very long life.”
That says something. The word “historic” comes to mind.
And no matter how much critics call “fake news” on the comparatively low attendance of the Inauguration on Friday, the aerial shots of the Women’s Marches on Saturday don’t lie and those who attended cannot be stripped of the feeling of having so many voices in one space.
To be clear, we’re not “one voice” (a chant heard at some marches). We are a beautiful sea of different voices carrying the same resounding message:
“This is just the beginning of our resistance.”
Yesterday’s events certainly don’t signify the beginning of DTI’s work.
We’ve been putting in the work.
DTI birth workers around the world marched yesterday with the acknowledgement that our work is intersectional and that we’ve still got so much work to do.
This means recognizing that historical oppression not only affects gender, but also race and sexuality.
Being honest about how feminism has been exclusive to our most marginalized in the past while still believing in the movement’s purest, most powerful form.
Knowing when to speak and when to listen.
Lifting up our most vulnerable, but not by deciding what we think is best for them.
These values are weaved into our work, as DTI doulas recognize the context of factors impacting birth culture around the world while maintaining a firm commitment to respecting the wishes of the birthing person, first and foremost.
We’re not interested in the feel-good pat-ourselves-on-the-back “Yay, we showed up!” activism that extinguishes itself as soon as the protest signs are tossed or tucked away. This election has been a wake-up call that we all need to do better, and a day’s worth of pink hats and clever messages aren’t revolutionary unless they’re backed by dedicated, concrete action day in and day out.
For us, yesterday’s events didn’t signify an end. And while the marches were reactionary to a devastating election, they serve as a both a promise and a statement for pro-active action.
So here’s a call to action on the heels of the Women’s March:
Go to Black Lives Matter meetings, rallies and marches in your city.
Get involved with a local organization (or a local chapter of a larger organization like Earth Justice) working for environmental justice.
Put your time and money into organizations working for reproductive rights: Planned Parenthood, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, NARAL Pro-Choice America. These are just the bigger household name national non-profits; seek out smaller ones in your city as well.
Support your local arts community – theatre, music, dance.
Artists are going to inspire us all to keep going.
Join our movement and purpose by becoming a DTI doula or DTI Childbirth Educator. Hold hands with DTI even if you are not a DTI birth pro but feel us at your core by saying yasssss to the DTI Alliance.
Join our movement to provide a specialized, beautiful birth experience for all.
It’s time we hold ourselves accountable.