A piece I co-wrote for Full Frontal with Samantha Bee's Medium about the Women's March. See here or read below.
The Women’s March On Washington promises to be a truly intersectional display of female empowerment and resistance. But amidst all that inclusivity, an important voice could be lost: yours. If you’re a white woman or a cis male, the opportunities to center yourself in conversations may seem few and far between. How do you drive the dialogue away from more marginalized voices and steal the narrative? Here are some friendly tips that will help you stay focused on what’s most important: makin’ it all about you.
1. Always be the loudest voice in the room.
There is no greater tool for social change than volume, so make sure yours is the loudest voice in any given situation. When a woman of color is speaking, ask yourself one question: can you speak louder than she currently is? If yes, your point is more valid, so just shout it out. You have a right — some might say a duty — to scream your thoughts at every opportunity, and your co-marchers will learn from your passion.
2. When someone is speaking to you, make sure you are actively planning your response in real-time.
One of the most important tricks for standing out amongst more marginalized voices is making sure you don’t waste time actively listening. Knowing what you’re going to say next the moment someone finishes a sentence, or pauses briefly to take a breath, shows that you’re invested in the conversation and have something to add that will make it better. This means thinking of what you’ll say before you’ve even fully heard what is being said to you. Feminist icon Bobby Fischer was always five or six steps ahead and so should you be. Asserting your own experiences above others’ is an important part of making this march all about you, and every second counts.
3. Have some tales of hardship at the ready.
Privilege is a hot-button topic likely to come up, and you need to be prepared to combat the idea that you’ve ever benefitted in any way from your gender and/or race. One of the best ways to do so is to have some examples of times you struggled in your life handy to prove that you have it just as hard, if not harder, than anyone. Remember: this is a competition and YOU have been sad, too.
4. Let people know that it wasn’t you!
Did white people elect Donald Trump? Yes! Does that make you, a white person, uncomfortable? Yes! But did you know that you can very easily distance yourself from any responsibility? It’s the time-honored tradition of being “one of the good ones.” Simply yell “NOT THIS WHITE PERSON” any time someone brings up the white vote and that way you never have to hold yourself, your friends, your family or your lukewarm support of the Democratic candidate accountable.
5. Consider extending your ploys for attention further by incorporating them into your wardrobe.
Being the loudest in the room and refusing to listen to anyone else are great ways to steal attention for yourself, but they can take up to minutes. Which is why we recommend co-opting the idea of “peacocking” and wearing your flashiest, most attention-grabbing attire. Whether it’s an obscene t-shirt, a costume, or head-to-toe neon, this is a great way to ensure all eyes are on you from the get-go. It’s also a great way to let people know that for you, this is not life or death. You’re just havin’ fun with it, which brings us to our final piece of advice…
6. Just have fun with it!
Bottom line, you’re there to have a good fuckin’ time! Do not let anyone rain on your parade, even in the face of those who insist it’s a “march” and not a parade. At the end of the day, you’re there to enjoy yourself. At any cost!