By Grace Masback
On January 20th, a man who has referred to women as pigs, dogs, fat, ugly, losers, slobs, and pieces of ass, will officially become President of the United States. It’s hard not to feel frustrated, sad, and scared. But it’s also never been more important for us to stand up, be brave, speak out and make our voices heard.
For many Americans, that means joining the January 21st Women’s March on Washington where women and allies will take to the streets in protest against the rhetoric of misogyny, homophobia, racism, and xenophobia perpetuated by our current President Elect. But what about the millions of women who can’t afford the cost of a trip to Washington or the time away from their responsibilities?
Three Portland-based organizations, Wildfang, a clothing company that specializes in menswear-inspired clothing for badass women everywhere, Uncorked Studios, a Portland design firm that envisions a world where innovation applies to entrepreneurs, nonprofits, and the world’s largest brands in equal measure, and Ziba, a global design and innovation consultancy are spearheading the initiative.
As Wildfang CEO Emma Mcllroy puts it, “The idea was simple.” We asked ourselves: how can we make The Million Women’s March accessible to every single woman in America? Even if you can’t get the time off from work, or you can’t afford the flight or the Airbnb, or maybe you can’t leave your kids or your cat Ziggy behind for a weekend — at this pivotal time in American history, we believe that EVERY woman deserves to have her voice heard.”
It’s true. Especially for young people. Many of the young people I know in my social networks and beyond have talked about wanting to take part in the March, to stand up and be heard. Yet for those of us living on the West Coast (and even for some of my friends on the East Coast) it simply isn’t feasible with school, travel expenses, etc.
Enter millionwomensvoices.com. One million women may plan to March on Washington on January 21st, but this site provides a way for everyone at home to take part as well. A way for a million + more voices to be heard. Within days of conceiving the idea, McIlroy rallied top creatives and technologists from Ziba Design and Uncorked Studios to volunteer their time, working weekends, holidays, and after-hours, to build a platform that belongs to all women, where each of us can tell our own stories in our own words, and have our voices heard. The goal is a global community where women are not afraid to rally together to share their stories and talk about what changes they need to see in the world.
This website makes it possible for all of us women to take part in the movement. Regardless of where you are on January 21, regardless of race, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic class, this is a moment that belongs to all of us. For those of us who can’t make it to Washington, our voices are proxies for marching shoes and our stories are our protest signs.
What story do you want to be share? Head on over to www.millionwomensvoices.com. Take two minutes to tell your story. Watch and listen to the stories of others. Share the content with your friends and family.
In six days, the world as we know it will change. We will say goodbye to a great man who ruled with intelligence and humility and say hello to a racist, a sexist, a small-minded bigot. As we brace ourselves for the beginning of the Trump era, it is more important than ever that we as women stand together, calling out injustice however it manifests and ensuring that we are never overlooked, put down, or called names. This is your chance to let Mr. Trump know what you stand for, to make it clear that you are engaged in this democracy, you intend to be heard, and you will not be bullied. So don’t wait. www.millionwomensvoices.com
Photo Credit: Francisco Osorio