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Marching Home: The Women’s March on Washington

As I laced up my hiking boots Saturday morning in the living room of a friend I haven’t seen in five years—in a country that I haven’t visited in almost two and don’t plan on living in again anytime soon—I had a momentary feeling of disorientation. I wondered if it had been presumptuous of me to get on a plane from Bogotá, Colombia, and fly to D.C, for the Women’s March on Washington.

After all, hadn’t I abandoned my home country, chosen the nomad’s life instead? Who was I to charge back into the United States demanding that the government sit up and pay attention to rights that I wouldn’t even benefit from in my distant home? But the thing is, it isn’t about my rights. It’s about women’s rights.

I’m a woman. I’m also white, middle class, straight, and cisgender. My privilege has provided me the opportunity to lead the life I do abroad. And, more important, it gives me the financial means to travel when I feel my home country is balanced at a tipping point where the rights of women in general—but particularly women of color, women who are immigrants, women living in poverty, women who are transgender, women who are lesbians, and women who are Muslim—are in grave danger.

It wasn’t presumptuous of me to come home. It was my responsibility.

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  • MaryAnn Gaughan January 24, 2017 at 9:44 am

    Great perspective. I have had a hard time articulating the emotions of that day as I marched. Thank you for capturing them for me. “This is what democracy looks like!”