Written by Rev. Sara Gross Samuelson Pastor/Leader/Organizer at Storyline Community
The Portland Womxn’s March is happening THIS SUNDAY from 12-3 downtown in the PSU Park Block. There will be speakers and music and then a march. A few of us are going to head down together immediately following our gathering, to join with other supporter’s and activist’s for womxn’s issues in our neighborhoods and city. You are welcome to join us!
Here’s some thoughts on public protest and marches and the PDX Womxn’s March in general to help you get ready:
Getting out in public and putting your body into motion behind something you believe in and support is part of our pattern as humans. In fact, many biblical historians would even go so far as to paint the story of Palm Sunday as a public rally/protest. Here’s an article from Sojourner’s magazine published last year reflecting on the March for Our Lives that coincided with Palm Sunday weekend: https://sojo.net/articles/holy-week-choice-march-empire-or-march-christ
Putting your body in the place of your beliefs is part of the movement of helping co-create God’s kin-dom. Marches that happen for the sake of speaking out against hatred, oppression and systemic injustice line up with many of our beliefs as people of faith.
Can my kids come?
Yes. PDX Womxn’s March is billed as intersectional and kid-friendly. But here’s some things to consider in making your decision about if/how many of your kiddos come:
It’s three hours of standing and walking. Strollers and baby carriers are welcome. But if your kiddos are past stroller age, make sure they’re dressed for the weather and the walking (and bring snacks!)
There will be signs. And slogans. And probably some life-size likenings of lady parts. As long as you’re cool explaining that to your kids, then they’re old enough to come. (Or in Sara’s case, your kid is too young to notice that that’s weird.) Signs vary all along the spectrum from opinions about pro-choice, to gun safety and control to opinions about patriarchy and systemic misogyny. There are lots of big words and lots of beliefs. One way to help your kids get ready for that is to have them make their own signs about what they believe about women’s issues. Do they think God loves girls and boys the same? Great. Make a sign. Do they think girls should be paid the same as boys for the same job? Fantastic. A lot of people want that. Make a sign. (Pro-tip: if there’s rain in the forecast, you can “laminate” your sign by wrapping it in packing tape.) This is a great opportunity for your kids to experience and wonder at how to share strong feelings and help move our world into a place where everyone can thrive. Also, keep in mind that the bonus of coming in a group is that there’s more adults to go ‘round. It takes a village to protest.
Can boys/men come?
Absolutely. Dads and brothers and uncles can and should come.
Why is there an X in Womxn’s and what does intersectional mean?
Good question. Check out the march website. They’ve got a lot of great information on the speakers and on why they’re being intentional about intersectionality and the way they address womxn. https://womxnsmarchpdx.com/
How will we get there?
We’ll carpool and all pick a parking lot to park in together. Sara GS is driving and has room for one other kid/car seat and one other adult. Text Anna or Sara to let them know you’re interested and we’ll add that to our carpool awareness. Parking downtown during big events can get tricky so sticking together in carpools will help. Secret Option B may be a van of folks parking at the Orange Line park and ride and MAXing and meeting up with us in the Park Blocks.
What do I wear?
Shoes for walking. Warm layers. Rain gear depending on weather. And, if you have a shirt that expresses your feelings about certain women’s issues, this is a perfect event to “wear your feelings” to.