THE FUTURE IS FEMALE | Emily Bashforth

THE FUTURE IS FEMALE


On Saturday 21st January, hundreds of thousands of women and men gathered to partake in 'Women's March,' in what could be referred to as a counter-inauguration post Donald Trump taking office on Friday 20th January and becoming the 45th President of the United States of America.
You've probably seen photos from this March splashed across your social media feeds, newspaper covers and clips on the news over the past couple of days. If you haven't, the chances of you living under a rock are high because this March caused chaos. Beautiful, brilliant, the bloody best kind of chaos. As it should.

It's difficult for me to know where to go from here as I currently have so much electricity flowing through my veins that it's a task and a half trying to string the many words in my head into a coherent sentence. The electricity within me comes from the sheer empowerment I feel as a result of this March. It was twenty four hours ago as I write this, but I still feel so alive and so inspired by what I saw, despite not being there myself. But that's the way I should feel, it is how we should all feel, and I know many of you do, because this was no ordinary March.

So, where to start? The Women's March was initially nothing more than a Facebook post that was uploaded shortly after the election, in the midst of all the uproar that assumed once the world learnt that Trump was to be the next President. Although the March was not specifically billed as a protest against the inauguration, the vast majority of attendees took this chance to highlight the issues they felt were under threat thanks to the election of their new President. Many protesters marched for other issues effecting the lives of women, however, as it can be seen from photos, most people were there to speak out against things said and done by Trump, shameful things that targeted women and other minority groups, such as the LGBTQ+ community, but, little did this man know, he was going to bring the world together whilst he worked tirelessly to tear them apart.

Thanks to his sexist, racist, misogynist, bigotry remarks, Trump not only alienated a large proportion of the American population, he outraged them. In fact, he did not just outrage them, he outraged millions of citizens across the globe because the fact that a man with such a narrow, vulgar mind could be one of the world's most powerful leaders terrified the hell out of them. It would be an understatement to say that this election was a controversial one and that the outcome didn't sit well with a large number of people but, once their upset had passed and the tears had been shed, the anti-Trump army united and transformed their sadness into energy and strength. Yesterday saw the largest inauguration March in history, with millions showing up with the intent of protesting peacefully for the sake of equality.

These women marched the streets of some of the largest cities in the world proudly throughout the day to show that the government do not own them, they are the owners of their bodies, they are just as worthy as men and they aren't afraid to speak out in order to shape a fair and just future. Women came out in their thousands with fire in their bellies to campaign for equal treatment and to show that, yes Trump is president, but they will not allow his position to decrease the value of women in society or increase the already large gap between them and their male counterparts in society's hierarchy. Women weren't alone as many men came out in force to support their sisters. Thousands of men of all ages, races and sexualities joined thousands of women of all ages, races and sexualities, proving once again that, when we unite, wonderful things happen.

Oh, but these crowds did not just march, they also danced to girl power anthems (including BeyoncĂ©’s 'Run The World (Girls)'), sang, cheered, chanted epic phrases such as "My body, my choice," "Love not hate, makes America great" and "Trump this isn't Twitter, you can't block us," and waved signs. Whilst on the topic of signs, I simply must point out that some of the signs at these marches are contenders for the best signs I have ever seen. Like, seriously, nobody knows how to make a sign like wrongly oppressed minority groups. To say the ones they were holding in the air were genius would be an insult.






















To see such a large amount of people - millions in total, in fact - uniting in the face of injustice is such a marvellous thing and just thinking about the images I saw on Saturday of women marching the streets gives me goosebumps. The streets were littered with people and I can only imagine the roaring that came from the crowds as they shouted and chanted because videos doesn't do the volume justice. Ugh I wish I was there.

To me, there no more empowering sight than a group of sisters campaigning peacefully together in order to create an accepting, inclusive, fair and female future for us all. The strength demonstrated by these wo(men) on Saturday at these marches was unlike anything else I have ever witnessed. To see people with such drive and fire within them fills ME with that same fire and makes me indescribably proud to be alive at a time that when people feel passionately about something, they are prepared to fight until they get the results they want. This protest wasn't just about Trump, although I am sure he would like to think it was. This was about showing the unity of women and the support they have from men who, actually Donald, don't all hold the same sexist beliefs as you. This was about getting our voices heard to prove we are valuable, we are wise and we are a force that cannot be dismissed or written off into the side-lines. We make up half of the world's population and, when you oppress one of us, you oppress us all.

These marches were peaceful, in Washington for example, zero arrests were made, because it isn't about using aggression and violence to be heard. We have learnt from the greatest and, sadly, the hard way, that ultimate power comes from peace and, in all situations, being loving is always the best option. We do not want to fight hatred with hatred. We do not want to defend ourselves against a hateful man by embodying all the things he stands for. We want to show that we are above his values and the only way for him to get us on side is for him to follow our lead. WE are the people he is leading and, whether he likes it or not, he has to listen to us.


Despite what anybody thinks, this is NOT just an American issue. Yes, Donald Trump is the President of the US but the people of the US are all of our brothers and sisters. Their problems are our problems, just like, when any other country anywhere in the world is enduring hardships, we support them. We must stick by all who are suffering and give a voice to the voiceless. Even if people do have a voice, we have a duty as human beings to join their fights and help them be heard. It is incredibly naive to assume that Trump's presidency will have no impact on us in other countries, such as the UK, France and Spain, where marches were also held on Saturday. Anything done by a world leader will have ramifications for all in some way and, regardless of whether or not it will cause suffering for us, if you see anybody else being oppressed, you do what you can to help, because we are all human beings experiencing the life thing together. Solidarity is everything and how can we expect others to assist us when we ignore them in their times of need? How can we turn our backs on anyone, knowing their lives will be worse off it we are apathetic? How can we stand by and allow such a hateful, ignorant figure to be in charge of such a beautiful country when we can so easily change things?

Trump has been elected and the past cannot be redone but what we can change is the future. By standing as one and refusing to back down until we see positive results, we can shape a better world that is understanding and loving for all. We need protests and marches like the ones we saw on #WomensMarch day because, if we stay silent, we are saying its okay for us to live in a broken world. When we stay silent in times of hardship, we side with the oppressor and, in this case, if we do nothing, Trump wins. Not only does Trump win, but everything he embodies wins. Sexism, racism, homophobia, misogyny, discrimination...I am a seventeen year old girl living in England and I absolutely will not even begin to imagine a future which features those mind-sets. For the sake of my family, my future children, my friends and my companions across the globe, I want change and I want a future that makes everybody happy. I don't want marginalised communities, I want us to live as one. I don't want rich, white, dictators whose brains seem to be stuck in the 1950s, I want diversity and leaders who are willing to work with their people, not control them. I want women and men to be treated as equals, it's that simple. We should not need to campaign for these things but, until they are no longer necessary, we will continue to campaign. I love seeing people fight and so seeing all of those wo(men) protesting in the ways that they did on 21st January inspired me. Seeing people fighting is pretty damn great when you know they are fighting against something or someone that wants them to do anything but.


This is just the beginning. Like I say, what's done is done. But that does not mean we have to be okay with it. People have been okay with things for far too long. It’s time for action. We have all been blessed with a voice and we have a right to use it, no matter what anybody tries to tell you. Whether you have 10 Twitter followers or 10 million, whether you live in a big city or in the middle of nowhere, whether you have a small group of friends or an army, this is about togetherness and doing whatever we can to bring about change. If each of us do a small bit, it is far better than if we all did nothing. As we saw on Saturday, every person made a sign and one sign alone is nothing but a sea of signs together, accompanied by a sea of people stomping and chanting through the streets is spectacular.

Honestly, I cannot quite articulate how inspired I feel at this moment. I feel inspired every day when I see other people carrying out acts of bravery, kindness, generosity and strength but, right now, I feel stronger than ever and that is all thanks to the people I share my lifetime with. I want the people who marched at the weekend, and also those who weren't able to make it but wanted to, to know how inspiring they are. If you're one of them, you're a badass and you should never allow anybody to extinguish the flame inside your heart. Keep going, keep fighting, shouting, screaming, marching and acting until you start to see the world which you want to live in come together. Whether you're a Trump supporter or not, stand by your fellow men and women and don't you are deny them of their rights, and do not allow anybody else to do the same. Do not be okay with your brothers and sisters being degraded. Stand up. Speak out. Too many people have died in the past for us to live in a world that is not compassionate towards all of its inhabitants.

So, let us continue with the girl power and using our own strength to strengthen others. Let us not stop here, instead, let the impact these marches have caused only spur us on to continue the fight. May we feel more motivated than ever to create a perfect world. Who says utopia has to be just a myth? Who says we cannot live in a world where everyone feels loved and accepted? Why does that only have to be a figure of our imaginations? If we want something, there is nothing to tell us that we cannot get it. If we want a perfect world, we have to make one. It starts with US. This isn't just about Trump, it’s a fight much greater than that. His time in the White House shall have ups and downs for us all but, ultimately, we will not let him effect the perception we have of ourselves. We are strong, determined, wonderful women and men and we deserve to live in a world in which we all feel safe. Let this fierce Feminist movement only grow stronger from this point onwards, regardless of how many times we are ridiculed or told that we will be "grabbed by the pussy."


Additionally, if there is one thing these marches should have made crystal clear, it’s that you are not alone. I don't know about any of you, but I spend a lot of time feeling frustrated and that nobody else holds all the same beliefs as me. I spend so much time aggravated that there are so many people living in pain yet no one seems to care. But people do care. These protests showed that. Nobody, no matter what you want to say, is alone. We have your back. We all want what is best for you. We are all prepared to use our voices to fight tooth and nail. We are a democracy and, if you want to tear us down then you'll have one hell of a job.

Let us unite now and fight with our hearts and minds as oppose to our fists. Let us make every day a march for the sake of our human rights and for the futures of our children. I hope this blog post conveys the sheer passion I feel for humanity, although, I doubt words alone could ever do that. If this blog post was too feminist for you, I refuse to apologise and, if that's a dirty word in your eyes, that's your issue, not mine. I want equality and I am prepared to fight for it. I want women's voices to be heard and I want men to stand by them as they are. To you, go out and start making a difference. We must be the change that we want to see.


I am a woman and I feel proud to say so, today and every day. Women make the world a better place and, without them, where would we be, ask yourself that.

The future is male. And it is female. It is oh so female. And the future is equal and beautiful. <3

Love, Emily :) xx

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