I got to participate in the Women’s March in Washington D.C., on January 21st, 2017. I figured it was a once in a lifetime event; I hope it was a once in a lifetime event. Being able to be a part of the march was quite moving though. The people spoke and hopefully some people listened. It is yet to be seen how much of an impact there may be. Regardless, it was nice to be involved. I am from a family of females: I am one of four sisters and our next generation currently consists of eight girls. Not only that, but I am from an ethnically mixed family, and my father immigrated here when he was a lad. I do not agree with many of the things that our president said during his campaign. Some people say “Well, do something about it. Get out there and vote.” I did vote and guess what, here we are. So I went and marched because I want our president to be held accountable for what he says and does. I want my children to have a future where we do not elect a man president who treats women the way Trump has.
A Little Background
From what I have heard1, the march started as a grassroots movement prior to the election even being decided. The organizers were expecting to have around 200,000 people show up in D.C. with sister marches organized in cities around the US and the world. The D.C. Metro system had over 450,000 riders on it by 11 AM, and that does not count people who arrived by plane, train, bus, car, etc. The turnout was so high that the organizers had to improvise a new route. They were not expecting so many people and were unable to get to the front of the crowd to lead the march.
The D.C. Metro system had over 450,000 riders on it by 11 AM today
We spoke to some people who had taken a bus from Chicago arriving that morning and were getting back on the bus that evening to drive back to Chicago. I also met people who had come from New York City, Atlanta, Boston, and Canada. People came from near and far to express their views. And what views they expressed.
The People’s Views
Overall I would say the sentiment was very anti-Trump, but more importantly very pro-Women, pro-equality. There were some insults to our new president and demands to see his taxes. But mostly women were saying it is not okay to talk about grabbing my pussy. Generally it was women demanding rights. Demanding that we are listened to as well.
As much as the march was called a Women’s March there were quite a few men in attendance. Many of the men were there in support of the females in their lives. Others were gay men in support of LGBQT rights. “Quality Men Believe in Equality” was one of the many rallying cries.
The signs were amazing. I wish you could have seen them all. Some were crude/crass. Many featured Star Wars and the Rebellion. One that I did not capture said the last time he marched was in Germany.
As the crowd marched they kicked up informal chants. Some people had megaphones and were not afraid to use them. As with the signs some chants belittled the president while others talked about equality and democracy. I worry that my memory will give a biased view. The chants I remember most were ones that made me laugh but were also biased a certain way.
Hands too small, Can’t Build a Wall.
Welcome to your first day. We are not going away.
What does democracy look like? This is what democracy looks like!
We want a leader, not a creepy tweeter.
Hey hey ho ho! Donald trump has got to go!!
My Body My Choice! Her Body Her Choice!
All in all, it was a crazy day. I left to get to the Women’s March really early. The Metro was not bad when I first got on but there were long lines to buy tickets, and by the time I got off the train was really crowded. The mall was completely packed, you could barely get through to anything. I wish there was a bit more clarity on what was going on so that while we were “rallying” people knew what to do. Yes, they had some great people as part of the day, but I have no idea where the stage was and did not get anywhere near it. So I did not see any of the official entertainment. We walked as close to the White House as we could get along with about 500,000 of our closest friends, but it was very slow going and super crowded and not very conducive to moving or “Marching” as the idea was. I think there was more shuffling of feet going on.
We want a leader, not a creepy tweeter.
I am really glad that everything seemed very peaceful. From what I had heard during the election about some of President Trump’s rallies turning violent, I was not sure if things would end up going sideways. The cops were around and doing a good job of keeping things organized. The one issue I saw was when they were trying to clear a path for an ambulance and it was too crowded, but other than that things were well under control. There were a couple medical incidents but none seemed to be based on violence. I am sure the news will update us if there was violence but it seemed to be a very peaceful demonstration.
I love that people want to express their opinions and views and be heard. At the same time I am not sure what the goal was. Is the thought that our new president is going to listen and treat everyone with more respect? Possibly even avoid referring to women as body parts?
“Feminism is the Radical Notion that Women are People“