Protesting America in another country should have secured my place as an ex-pat, as someone who deliberately abandoned America during these next four years in a St Andrews haven. Even though I was thousands of miles from home and from pink pussycat-clad American ears, the women’s march in Edinburgh connected me with likeminded people from the entire world.
The women’s march in Edinburgh didn’t have the prime location like the one in Washington D.C. or the symbolism of Trump Tower like the one in New York. It had Scottish accents that most Americans can’t understand, and songs that I only mouthed the words too. But it had this connectivity that stretched over the Atlantic. Somehow a chain reaction against hate had been launched in over 370 cities, and I had gotten to be a part of it.
I found myself with 14 year olds holding a rainbow signs and little old ladies that closed their eyes and just listened. The women’s march brought out people who had never before protested, people who had been hiding away since the realisation that America would rather a Trump than a female president.
Trump’s inauguration had not only been a failure for America, and for the values that it should hold, but it was especially a failure for women everywhere. The women’s march, while enjoyable in its solidarity, was painful as well. It brought back memories of election night, a night that can now be deemed fully traumatic. It brought back the reminder that while I can get free birth control in Scotland, my friends back home spent their winter breaks in waiting rooms, lining up to get their IUDS; that while the Brits have a female prime minister, we have one that’s created a game out of objectifying women. It brought back that while we stood together, united (at least partially) all over the world, this was only one step in the odyssey we have to fight the next few years.
The women’s march will stand in history of America’s survival as day one.