Trump holds no jurisdiction over Paris but the Women’s March continues from Trocadero to Champs de Mars stronger than ever against all that his being elected into office stands for.
Revolution girl-style, now
MILLINER MUSINGS - Mich L. Dulce (The Philippine Star) - January 27, 2017 - 12:00am

The night before the march happened globally, I was so excited I could barely sleep, making signs while lying on my bed with Bikini Kill on repeat. I got on the phone with Goldie, my original and forever feminist partner in crime, who was in New York. 

“You better be marching tomorrow.”

“Of course I am. I’m going with my tita and my cousin. I’m going to meet Lara (our other bandmate) there.”

“It’s going to be the best day ever. I can feel it. I mean, when was the last time that so many women all over the world decided to gather like this! It’s such a historic and exciting day for us.”

A few days before, I tried to round up all my girl friends in Paris to go to the march together. While some were genuinely unavailable, some of them didn’t even bother replying, some said they hated “stuff like that” in Paris, and some questioned why I would even go, what it would even achieve, and why I, the non American, would even bother when Trump isn’t my president anyway.

The truth is that I cannot understand why any woman would not go on that day if they could. I would never give up the chance to rise in solidarity with other women in so many cities and countries to fight for our rights and what we believe in, to rally against sexism, hatred, indifference, misogyny, racism and the destruction of our earth and our climate. That march was not just about Trump. It was about standing up against all that his being elected into position stands for, the values that he doesn’t have and the rights he violates. Trump may not be my president, but my own president in my home country is a misogynistic murderer. It’s just unacceptable.

As a female with an opinion, I refuse to do nothing. I refuse to stay quiet. I refuse to accept the disrespectful, degrading behavior that our leaders seem to have towards women and refuse to let that behavior trickle down into the masses like it’s the norm. I refuse to not challenge the negative direction the world seems to be going in, one in which basic values and human rights are being disregarded. I refuse to just agree with the reality we are currently facing. I refuse to just be passive, and that is why I marched. We need to be vocal about what we are unhappy with; we need to be angry about the things that aren’t right. We need to stay outraged and not just accept what is happening in our society.

 

I met up with four other friends that day from different parts of the world to march together. When we were approaching the crowds I started to tear up, seeing all these women and men of different races, colors and nationalities out there supporting each of the things they deemed important to them.  It was one of the most special experiences of my life, marching with so many strong and beautiful women, chanting and screaming in various languages, all so adamant about the things we believed in and celebrating our being. It was so moving to see all the women with all their different reasons for being there, all the signs in different languages, but united in their feminism. It was a reminder of how powerful we as women can be, how our opinions matter, and how we need to voice them.

In recent years, I’ve felt a bit wary of proclaiming myself a feminist. I was concerned that maybe my idea of feminism wasn’t the same as everyone else’s. I started to think of myself as a bad feminist, acknowledging my faults and thinking that I didn’t deserve that title because there was so much that I didn’t do and could be doing.

But being at that march reassured me that idea of feminism is as diverse as women itself and it’s okay to be your own kind of feminist. It is personal.

My personal take on feminism has always been about championing the qualities that make me female.  I’m not into trying to just do what guys do, to act the way they act, because I think that we already know that is possible. I want women to feel comfort and strength in the traits that make us amazing. That we are naturally nurturing and that we allow ourselves to be vulnerable. That we are emotional, that we should, and can, “cry like girls” without judgment — this isn’t a weakness, it’s a power. That we are sexual beings with such strong sexual power over men; that we can be dominant but also play the submissive part if that’s what we want, and that we should be able to explore every kink in our bodies for our own pleasure. That we can make our own choices and talk freely about our bodies, our periods, our mood swings, our ovaries, our eggs, our pregnancies, our becoming menopausal. That we deserve respect for all that we are, the entire womanly package. I want to celebrate feminism with my femininity. I choose to be feminine because I can be. I don’t have to act like a man to be a powerful woman.

Feminism is about supporting each other as women, cultivating and nurturing our female friendships, finding comfort and familiarity in each other and our experiences and struggles in our womanhood. The saddest thing about women is that we are each other’s biggest critics and we always pull each other down and tear each other apart.  I am so guilty of this. It’s only in recent years that I’ve come to realize that true feminism is really about being a girl’s girl.  I am so embarrassed that during the time that I claimed to be this feminist riot grrrl a decade ago, I was a really horrible person to women around me who weren’t in my inner circle.  I remember my friend Wincy saying to me, “Mich, let me remind you of your competitive, destructive nature towards other women,” because I was a mean, critical and bullying bitch towards other females in order to combat my own insecurities. It was disgusting, and it took me age and maturity to realize my mistakes, and now that I am a girl’s girl, I need and value the women in my life so much more. We, as women, should be able to rely on other women, to get strength and kindness from each other, building on our shared experiences, and supporting one another, creating a safe space with each other to talk openly and without judgment.

What I’ve taken to heart from the historic, million-strong women’s march is a phrase that we spent hours chanting, walking from Trocadero to Champs de Mars: “Women. United. Can Never Be Defeated.” We as women can achieve so much more together, whether it’s as mob of millions, or just as girl friends there for each other, in good times and bad. Let’s never forget that energy we felt on Jan. 21, and make girl power a constant in our lives, not just in times of protest.  Revolution girl style now, and always.

BIKINI KILL
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