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January

2017

Women’s March Paris!

COMMUNITY, France

women's march paris

women's march paris

women's march paris

women's march paris

women's march paris

women's march paris

women's march paris

women's march paris

women's march paris

women's march paris

women's march paris

women's march paris

women's march paris

women's march paris

women's march paris

women's march paris

women's march paris

women's march paris

women's march paris

women's march paris

women's march paris

women's march paris

women's march paris

women's march paris

women's march paris

Bonjour, friends! Greetings from the Women’s March Paris! We are here, it is cold, we are working more than adventuring, but we marched. We marched with thousands of other individuals in the Women’s March Paris on Saturday. And it was rock ’em sock ’em amazing!

They said it would be dangerous and vulgar!

They said we should not march with kids!

They said pussy was an inappropriate word for a woman to use!

They told us not to wear the hats!

They said there was no point!

But we marched. 4.8 million of us marched on all seven continents (fist pump). We took our sons, our daughters, our husbands, our moms, our grandmas and many more. We shared stories. We bonded. We marched peacefully with class. We shared tears and laughter with our fellow marchers. We bonded some more. We grew. We concurred. Yes, we concurred. When 4.8 million people can peacefully protest in the name of equal rights there are no losers, just steps in the right direction.

As many of you know we travel the world with our children to learn about all the different people and beliefs in this vast land. As a result, I am sure it was no surprise that we would move mountains to attend a Women’s March. Even though we do not live in the US we continue to fight for our country and equal rights, no matter where we are in the world. We may not be marching in DC, but we are doing our little part every time we exit our home by learning about those different from us. We are on a mission to continue this approach for a very long time, one town at a time. I have never been prouder than I was this weekend to be American. We come together when the going gets tough. We fight and we do it peacefully. And to refine it even more, I am proud to be a feminist woman.

Big ole fist pump to all of you who marched this weekend and those of you who supported us from your homes. Thank you!

I have never protested in another country before. I had no expectations. Facebook expected 600 people at this event, but I assumed it would be more. However I did not think it would be approximately 6,000 more. Have you ever protested in a country other than your birth country? Was it very different from what you expected? How?

Here is what we observed during the Women’s March Paris:

  • The beginning felt like a protest and by the end it resembled a celebration. We left feeling connected to our brothers and sisters around the globe. We are all in this together, to fight for equal rights in our home countries and across the globe. What happens in one country affects us all. We are a team. Team World!
  • The French basically created the protest. They are really good at it. REALLY GOOD! They are articulate, well-educated in the topic they are protesting and amazing global thinkers. They were peaceful because they know this is the best method for success.
  • The shop owners were passing out free cheese and baguettes to protestors. Ok, that was not true, checking to see if you were paying attention. However, it would not have surprised me. Between you and I, I was secretly hoping for it.
  • It was obvious that the police were experienced in facilitating protests here in France. They were professional, approachable and helpful. I have heard the same sentiments regarding the marches in the US. Thank you all for your service.
  • There was no pushing, fighting, vulgar remarks (for the record I don’t consider the word pussy or nasty woman vulgar) or disagreements. There was no one yelling opposing thoughts from the sidelines. It was calm, peaceful and effective.
  • The pink hats did not make it across the ocean. Many of our fellow marchers said they did not even hear about the pink hat phenomenon until days before the march.
  • Almost everyone we interviewed looked at the march from a global standpoint. These are folks that are deeply concerned about history and it repeating itself. They see a trend and they want to fight it before it becomes out of hand.
  • We did not carry signs because we were busy filming and we needed our hands free. However, a friend taped one of her signs to my back. Next time (because we will protest again) we will make signs that we can wear over our coats.
  • There were not a lot of children marching, which surprised me. I cannot even imagine going to a march like this and leaving the kids at home. I am wondering if this is a cultural difference? I would love to hear from our French friends on this matter.
  • The weather was cold, but not unbearable. We were prepared for the Arctic. I don’t know what I was thinking. It is not like this was a two-day protest. I can’t stand to be cold so that always influences my preparations.
  • I would say as a majority there were more 20-30 year olds than any other age group. However, when I spoke with friends and Will they thought that those in their 40s and up were well represented. I know I saw a lot of folks who were well over 60, 70 and a couple that looked to be in their 80s. These folks had the biggest impact on me. You all know how I love millennials, but to be in your 70s and attend a march like this is so damn amazing. These folks left their warm homes, probably with some aliments, maybe with limited mobility and they marched. You seniors make me so proud. I want to be just like you when I grow up. Never stop being you, please! And thank you for remembering history (I know many of you lived it) and fighting to not let it repeat itself.
  • It is now several days after the march and I am starting to see some hate regarding the march online. I cannot speak for all the marches across the globe or even for all of the Paris march, but I can speak for what I experienced. I did not see any signs or altercations that suggested women who were pro-life were unwelcome. Even though I am pro-choice I never once considered this a protest to pit us against each other and it saddens me that some folks felt unwelcome and others are trying to turn this into a pro-life versus pro-choice battle. If I had seen any of this occur on either side the spectrum during my time marching I would have surely stood up to it. Also, I must say that I had friends march on every continent except Antarctica and none of them saw any evidence that pro-life supporters were unwelcome. Of course if you have evidence to the contrary please feel free to share it in the comments.
  • Also on my feed today a friend said that she asked a question about the meaning of one lady’s sign and she was met with animosity. Again, this saddens me. We interviewed close to 30 people at the Paris march. We asked them why they were marching and often what their sign meant (some of them were in French) and not once were we met with any anger or hostility. I think it is important to share these positive experiences because they seem to far outweigh the few negative ones I see circulating online. This event was a grand success. I recently read that there was not one arrest made at the march. That is impressive and should be celebrated. Of course, if you have evidence to the contrary, please feel free to share it in the comments.
  • Finally, I also saw a post about how some women did not feel the NEED to march. And that is ok as well. If marching is not your thing then no problem, however, I do not see why those who chose to march should be put down. In the end we all win when we march for equal rights. Yes there were some protesters who only focused on Trump at our rally (however, they were in the minority), but for our family it was not an anti-Trump protest. Now that is not to say that we are fans, we absolutely are not, but we were there fighting for rights that we feel are necessary for all of our fellow Americans. To make the generalization that this was an anti-Trump protest is grossly inaccurate, at least from my perspective in the Paris march. If you did not march it is probably not a good idea to make such assumptions.

We interviewed a lot of people (sorry we could not use all of them in the video). Everyone was eager to tell us “why” they were marching. We heard amazing stories of what people had overcome in their own lives and what they were willing to keep fighting for. We heard stories of millennials dedicating their youth to volunteering. We heard from families marching with three generations of women. We heard stories of dads marching with their daughters. We saw folks with disabilities marching and fighting for rights beyond their own personal needs. We met a grandfather marching with his 10-year-old granddaughter. We talked with lesbian couples, interracial couples and heterosexual couples all fighting for equal rights together. And the list goes on. But for me, the story that touched me the most was that of a group of millennial girls volunteering in a women’s center in a refugee camp.

The glitter girls (as I will affectionately refer to them as) were one of the last groups of people we spoke with. I was tired and ready to be done, but then Will pointed out this group of gals with glitter all over their faces. Now if you know me well, you know I LOVE glitter. How could I pass up chatting with my sisters from another mother? When we approached them to ask why they were marching and if they wanted to share their story they said “oh yeah” and did they have a story. See, they run a women’s center in a refugee camp in France and someone burned down their center two weeks ago. They had a clear mission for marching. And their story really hit my heart. I admire what they are doing on so many levels. We had an amazing chat with them and I even got glittered! Yesterday morning I woke up with glitter on my pillow for the first time in years, luckily it was Will sleeping beside me (ha). They are looking for long-term volunteers and donations to rebuild if anyone is interested. If you want to help you can click this link.

Lets go out and spread some sparkle, shall we?

Have a fantastic week! We get Avalon back tomorrow. All of us are eager to hear about her experience in the Boston march. Plus, we just miss her terribly.

Bisious,
Jessica

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