I have never been in a protest march in my life. Even in college, when classmates would gather to demonstrate against whatever or for whatever, I’d skulk around the fringes or hide in the library.
I was studying journalism and I became a journalist.I was convinced I needed to maintain objectivity, so learned to set personal opinion aside. Sometimes, I honestly didn’t have an opinion at all, and often my opinions were mixed anyway. I could not understand why some people were so angry and upset. I am not a fearful person, and so I guessed that it was fear that really motivated these protesters – fear that something bad would happen, or fear that something good would be taken away.
I attended the Women’s March on Trump Tower yesterday and came to feel the fear first-hand. Since the day Trump was elected, I have felt a knot in the pit of my stomach. It hasn’t gone away. When we was sworn in as president Friday, I downed some Maalox and got back to work, then finished preparations for the march Saturday.
At the march, fear met joy head-on and got run over by a pink tide. I marched with women who made uteri out of cardboard and women who drew fallopian tubes on their pink pants. I marched with women young enough to be my daughters and women older than my grandmother, some inching along with canes and walkers. There were men, too – plenty of them.
No one got violent, no one got arrested, no one so much as stepped accidentally on someone’s foot without saying “sorry” or “excuse me.” Here is the scene outside Grand Central Terminal, the main train station in New York:
Lots of people made signs. I met up with a guy dressed as Gandalf whose sign said “You shall not pass!” Of all the signs I saw, this was my favorite:
I couldn’t catch up with the young woman holding it. I hope she doesn’t mind that I shared her artwork with everyone.
Today I am tired an achy and a bit anxious again. Yesterday we had our fun. Today the real work begins.
“What are you going to do tomorrow, and the next day, and the rest of your life?”