E Pluribus Unum and the Women’s March on Washington

01/20/2017 09:02 am ET Updated Jan 24, 2017

When I think about women, the first person I think about is my mother. As a young woman in old video tapes; complaining about making dinner on Christmas Eve; me laying on her stomach, watching TV comfortably on her bed.

I think about my grandmother; painting oil on canvas.

My sister reading her favorite book.

I think about my three cousins playing cards and screaming at my brother to “play faster.”

I think about the girls on my dorm room floor. Loud. Obnoxious. Colorful. So much of everything; all at once. I think about the woman who cleans the halls in my dormitory. The woman who makes my coffee at Starbucks. The woman who sits on the sidewalk brooding over a cigarette like a dragon with the eyes of a child. I think about the women who scream at me as I pass about ‘saving the children,’ and the ones that paint themselves with their own choice.

Sometimes, I think about the girls you never think about. You never want too. Because their circumstance is too horrifying. 

If you ask any woman on the street what ‘womanhood’ actually means, you will never quite find the same answer  ―  and yet, you’ll notice themes. You’ll get the nervous laugh. Period jokes. Sex. Marriage. Kids. Every culture, religion, and race has something different that proclaims “this is what a woman is” for the whole wide world to see. 

But womanhood isn’t definitive. It’s flexible, but tougher than leather. It is so much and nothing at all. That’s the beauty of it all. Out of a sea of faces, somehow, we all look the same. We all want the same things. Happiness. Freedom. Success (whatever that means for you). It’s the way that we choose to get there, from our pasts to the present, and the things along the way, that makes us different.

And yet the differences make us women.

That’s really what it’s all about. 

The Women’s March on Washington was about difference. It was about accepting all women of size, shape, and color  ―  but also recognizing similarities. There is so much to womanhood. The definition truly lies in being absolutely everything; all at once. 

Out of Many, One. 

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