This weekend, the Women's March took place in cities around the world for the third year in a row. From DC to New York City to London, women and allies around the Globe used their bodies and their voices to once again demand that the world change to reflect the reality of the women who inhabit it.
Those voices included feminist icon Gloria Steinem, representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and actress Laverne Cox. At the Los Angeles march, Cox's rousing speech declared that while marchers were there to peaceably demand equity, they were also there to fight.
"The achieving of basic human rights, dignity, justice, or equity for one group of people does not mean that something is being taken from another group," Cox told the crowd. "That's scarcity thinking and scarcity thinking will always drive us further from each other."
"Divide and conquer is one of the primary tools of the oppressor to control marginalized people," she said. "And when I say oppressor let me be clear, each and every one of us has the capacity to be an oppressor, no matter who we are, where we are located on social hierarchies or how we identify. And each of us has the capacity to be liberators for ourselves and each other."
"We have seen the tool of divide and conquer be used to attack this very march," Cox said, quoting Mary Pipher's book Reviving Ophelia. "'Social change is a million individual acts of kindness. Cultural change is a million subversive acts of resistance.'"
"It is subversive to choose love in this fearmongering cultural environment of 'us vs. them,'" Cox explained. "It is a subversive act of resistance to choose love today."
Across the pond at the London Women's March, model and activist Munroe Bergdorf took inspiration from from Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman in congress. "If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair," said Bergdorf, quoting Chisholm, before expanding: "we bring our own table. A table with enough room for everyone, a table with no hate, a table with no prejudice, a table where everybody eats."
"All women must be equal, our differences must but be acknowledged and celebrated," Bergdorf said. "All women must have a voice." Bergdorf also called for an end to the unapologetic transphobia that runs rampant in the British media, as well as the "demonization" of transgender children, migrant workers, and sex workers.
"Today we march for every single woman who can't," Bergdorf said.
In New York City, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told the crowd that fighting means "no person left behind. So when people want to stop talking about the issues Black women face, when people want to stop talking about the issues that trans women or immigrant women face, we've got to ask them, 'Why does that make you so uncomfortable?'"
\u201cRep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at the Women's March in New York: "Justice is about making sure that being polite is not the same thing as being quiet. In fact, often times, the most righteous thing you can do is shake the table." https://t.co/knzLXDTwND\u201d