Lessons learned from the Women’s March on Washington to move forward

After we marched at the Women’s March on Washington last Saturday, now the big question is what is next? The challenge is to move forward without losing momentum and cohesion. I know we think we can do very little individually but our experience at the Women’s March on Washington proved that we only can move forward when we are there for each other and stand together.

Women;s March on Washington (Photo by Bobbi Pratt)

Women’s March on Washington (Photo by Bobbi Pratt)

As we explained when we launched our trip, our main reason to march was to claim for economic and opportunity equality for Latinas. That is what we do at LatinasinBusiness.us. We empower the Latina working woman to help her break the circle of economic violence that keeps her locked in low paying jobs, lack of opportunity to access key positions of power and decision-making, and the ability to use the enormous pool of talent and leadership that Latinas possess.

Women;s March on Washington (Photo by Bobbi Pratt)

Women;s March on Washington (Photo by Bobbi Pratt)

However, in our journey together with over half million women and men–reported by Associated Press and other media– we learned that there are other very important issues women feel as their priorities and concerns as they face this new Administration.

“We march today for the moral core of this nation, against which our new president is waging a war,” actress America Ferrera told the Washington crowd. “Our dignity, our character, our rights have all been under attack, and a platform of hate and division assumed power yesterday. But the president is not America. … We are America, and we are here to stay,” reported ABC News.

What were women’s main interests at Women’s March on Washington?

We learned some valuable lessons that might have in them the answers we seek. Yes, we need to capitalize those lessons to build a platform from where actions need to be taken:

  • Women are decided not to go backwards. Too many years of political fight and struggle have allowed women’s right to vote, equal opportunities in the workplace, and the right to choose.

womens march on washignton pink hats

  • Women are defending their reproductive rights, healthcare, and the right to make decisions over their bodies, their healthcare and their pregnancies.
  • Susana G Baumann, LatinasinBusiness.us and Nelly Reyes, freshie Natural Feminine Care at Women's March on WashingtonWomen are aware of and denouncing the predatory sexual actions of the President. At a time when women are fighting against predatory sexual behavior in the workplace and on campuses all around the country, it is unacceptable for women that those actions are being taken lightly.
  • Women proclaim that diversity and inclusion are the hallmarks of American society. Women believe that acceptance of differences and protecting the vulnerable are the values that make America great.
  • Women feel responsible for future generations, the future of the planet and the moral compass of society. They believe that as mothers and the generators of life, they need to be vigilant against the destruction carried out by power and greed.
  • Women became aware that they only have power when they stand together. The energy and the sense of solidarity we felt at the Women’s March on Washington now need to be translated into real action.

Our trip

We rode with a small but powerful group of very diverse marchers that signed up for the trip sponsored by Freshie Feminine Natural Care and LatinasinBusiness.us. Our group included Latina, Asian, African-American and White women and . There were several religious views including Catholic, Jewish, Episcopalian and even a Pastor from the United Church of Christ. We were straight, gay and trans-women and men. In a small group, we encompassed the remarkable diversity of this country. We have never met each other before but an immediate bond grew fonder as the day went by.

We had very productive discussions on our way up, and we all expressed our fears, our concerns and our willingness to continue the resistance. “Yesterday we mourned, today we march, tomorrow we mobilize” was the poster one of our riders proposed as the group’s slogan.

Tasha Warren holding our slogan sign Women's March on Washington

Tasha Warren holding our slogan sign Women’s March on Washington

A mental health provider, Robin Tobias-Kasowitz said, “It was an invigorating day and I feel so proud to have been a part of it. I’m also glad that you are getting right on it and writing this feature. My main concern, as a Psychotherapist, is the mental condition of the new President, a condition mental health providers are very familiar with. I realize how this knowledge is critical in the process of understanding and dealing with Donald Trump and his behavior,” she said.

She believes the new President suffers from a Narcissistic Personality Disorder, “a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of ultraconfidence lies a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism,” she proceeded to read from the Mayo Clinic website.

Robin Tobias-Kasowitz (L) and Karen Flannery (R) at Women's March on Washington

Robin Tobias-Kasowitz (L) and Karen Flannery (R) at Women’s March on Washington

Kathy Miller, another rider said, “I do feel all alone but more empowered together. I definitely marched for my mom –had her picture on my poster, for my daughter and future grandchildren. I felt everyone acted with dignity and our group was especially kind and caring. Thanks again for including me so I could say I was there and I wouldn’t have wanted to be there with anyone else!”

Nelly Reyes, founder and CEO of freshie Natural Feminine Care added, ”The Women’s March on Washington was an unbelievable event, not only we felt the energy but also the cohesion and the willingness to mobilize against the harm and the hate this new Administration is announcing with its actions and its actors.”

What can we do better going forward?

Although this was a LatinasinBusiness.us initiative, we only had two Latinas signed up for the trip. We have to work harder with Latinas to help them understand that their rights need to be protected and conquered but only if they show up and participate.

Immigration reform is not the only issue that Latinos feel is a priority. Equal opportunity, equal pay, fair treatment under the law and many other issues are still on the table for Latinas and Latinos. However, our participation is vital to show presence and unity. We still must work on creating the bond that will make us advance our voices.

Susana G Baumann, LatinasinBusiness.us and Nelly Reyes, freshie Natural Feminine Care at Women's March on Washington

Susana G Baumann, LatinasinBusiness.us and Nelly Reyes, freshie Natural Feminine Care at Women’s March on Washington

Characteristics of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

  • Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
  • Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
  • Exaggerating your achievements and talents
  • Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
  • Believing that you are superior and can only be understood by or associate with equally special people
  • Requiring constant admiration
  • Having a sense of entitlement
  • Expecting special favors and unquestioning compliance with your expectations
  • Taking advantage of others to get what you want
  • Having an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
  • Being envious of others and believing others envy you
  • Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner

Mayo Clinic website

About Susana G Baumann

Award-winning journalist, author, multicultural expert, public speaker, small business advocate and the Editor-in-Chief of LatinasinBusiness.us. Susana is an Argentinean immigrant who started her own small business over 20 years ago. Now, through her new digital platform and social media channels, she advocates for the economic empowerment of Latinas in the United States.
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