I’ve never been the marching type. I was born a few years too early for the Woodstock generation, and I prefer to keep my politics private.
But although I want our new president to succeed, I felt compelled to protest his attitude toward women. That’s why this 70-something-year-old put on her walking shoes and joined the Women’s March on Washington’s National Mall on Saturday.
My daughter-in-law Katrina signed us up for a chartered bus because the Washington Metro was going to be impossible. Her neighbor provided “RESPECT” balloons and banners. We had a detailed plan to keep our group of thirty together, but it was doomed by the size of the crowd which far exceeded expectations. Katrina and I barely managed to keep the two of us together.
Many of the marchers' signs were respectful in calling for women not to lose their hard-fought-for rights. Some were amusing, some clever, but a fair number were disrespectful. Some of the signs were not PG-13 (which this blog tries to be) so click here if you want to see them for yourself. You’ve probably read about the star-studded program. We couldn’t even get close enough to watch it on one of the jumbotron screens, let alone on the stage itself.
At 1:00 (just before the march was supposed to start), they changed the route for “safety reasons”. At 2:00, they cancelled the march because no one could move. The event became just a rally.
We were packed like sardines, making it impossible for emergency vehicles to get through. It began to feel a bit scary, and we finally decided that we’d better head for our bus, parked a 30-minute walk away.
Did I have fun? No. Am I glad I went? Absolutely. There was something very powerful and gratifying about being part of a crowd of half-a-million, mostly women, using their right of freedom of speech to gather peacefully for a cause they cherish.
Will this movement make a difference? Or save the rights we were “marching” for? It’s too soon to tell, but an exhausted me, happy to make it home without incident, is really glad she was there.