On 11/9, I felt physical pain. I’d lived through Reagan, and Bush …and Bush… so, it wasn’t a Republican win that squeezed my stomach with icy fingers. It was the vertiginous plunge of the elevator just as the doors were about to slide open onto full equality, the hurtling backward down sublevels of dank parking garage to crash on the bare basement floor. As a feminist and mother of a young daughter, I was devastated for women. When I heard about the Women’s March on Washington, I rose for a second, only to land back on earth in the realization that too few people would have the resources for a trip to our nation’s capital, no matter how passionate they were about standing up against bigotry.
On 11/11, I had an epiphany. If women couldn’t go to the march, why couldn’t the march go to them? That’s how I got the idea for a nationwide minute of silence for women’s equality. At 1pm sharp at the Women’s March on Washington, Gloria Steinem will lead the countdown to one silent minute of mindful focus on the hard-won rights women have earned, and the unified quiet affirmation by millions of like-minded women and allies that we will never go back to a time of fewer rights, no matter how frightened the white male power elite may be.
As Dr. Martin Luther King’s principles of non-violence state, “specific activities must be designed to maintain a high level of spirit and morale during a nonviolent campaign.” 1@1 is one such activity. We rise to our silent national minute in joy, in free choice, in clear-eyed peaceful advocacy for women’s equality. It’s one simple, symbolic act with only one requirement: if you believe in women’s equality, take a stand. Even women under threat in her current life situation can join symbolically by simply being silent for that minute, knowing she is being supported by women from Maine to Hawaii.
We hope everyone who hears about 1@1 helps us spread the word. This is an action to reach “beyond the bubble” to every woman in America, so she can make the choice if she’s ready to stand up for herself and her sisters.