That’s the word that is staying with me the day after the Women’s March. Also, pink pussy hats.*
I was in the Lansing on Saturday with an estimated 7,999 other people. Many of my friends were in Ann Arbor (estimated 10,000 people), and Washington DC (estimated 500,000 people) and many other locations across the country and the world. The guesstimates are 1.5 million here in the USA, possibly over 2 million worldwide. Even if it was half that – that’s pretty impressive.
In Lansing, the Capitol lawn was densely packed, with open space on the south and east sides, which was mostly because it was a muddy swamp with treacherous footing. South Capitol Avenue itself, and the sidewalks on both sides, were packed, as were the surrounding sidewalks on Ottawa and Allegan. Michigan Avenue sported a steady stream of people making their way to the Capitol throughout the afternoon.
I am a bit of a news and political junkie ("No. Really?" many of you may be saying, while rolling your eyes) but I don’t consider myself an activist. I’ve never done this kind of thing before. So I’ve been telling everyone that the fact that I felt compelled to attend one of the marches should tell you something about my level of concern.
I think I can speak for at least some women, and state that I am not in a constant state of anger. After all, real life goes on, and my reality is that I am a middle-aged, middle-class, educated white woman and my day-to-day life likely won’t see a significant impact by this potential about-face in social progress. Well, except for the health care part – very much entwined with the woman parts (ha) - but that requires an entire separate post, later.
I am, however, mortified. Daily. And I am aghast at the stream of exaggerated rhetoric, flat-out lies and nationalistic fervor that continue to flow from this new administration. This isn’t campaign-speak. This is the real thing now, and it’s appalling.
So, I marched.
Because our current president is on record on how delighted he was that his celebrity permitted sexual assault.
Because our current president is on record behaving in a way that would result in very, very long time-outs of he was one of our kids.
Because our current president is on record mocking the looks, weight, clothing, hair style, and age of women everywhere.
Because our current president is on record mocking people with disabilities.
Because our current president is on record wanting to close our borders and deport minorities.
Because our current president is on record painting the media as “dishonest” and telling them what they should and should not report on.
So, I marched.
Regardless of your politics, your news sources, and what you think our President means or doesn’t mean – as if he requires some kind of interpreter - the fact is, the man currently occupying the highest office of our beloved US of A is on the record threatening, disparaging and otherwise being dismissive of women, minorities, differently-abled, intellectual rigor, and science. He is on record either exaggerating or lying and trying like hell to make us all believe that he is the only one who can interpret his actions, and the world, for us.
Because he is on record, doing and saying all of the things I listed – and more. And he doesn’t want us to see it, and believe it.
Well, no. I refuse to fall in line.
So, I marched.
*For those who have been living in a media blackout – and I can’t really blame you – the pink pussy hats are a not-so-subtle play on Trump’s comments about being able to grab women by the pussy, because as a celebrity they would “let him.” Of the estimated 8000 attendees in Lansing, there were easily 4000 pink pussy hats, as varied as the women and men who were wearing them.
For more photos of the march in Lansing, and some favorite signs, go here