SAMO: Women's March

We hopped on the crowded train, bright and early at 7:30am. It was jam-packed with other women and inspiring posters galore. One woman on our car passed around donuts and coffee (yes, to complete strangers). The train conductor didn't charge anyone for the ride, and later announced that this would be an express train due to the high volume of riders. Sarah, Erin, Bryn, and I looked at each other with fluttering excitement, knowing this would not be a day to forget and would go down in history ("This will be an APUSH key term one day!"). This welcoming experience on the train was just the beginning of the pride I felt toward being a woman on this day: January 21st 2017, the day after Donald Trump's inauguration: The Women's March.

A foggy morning on the March as we walked to Grant Park.
Photo by me on iPhone 6. 

Even the trek to the route of the march was full of life. Interesting people of all creeds and colors were walking on both sides of the street, everyone chittering with whispered exhilaration at the sight of so many others who care about the issues being fought during this march. The roads were close to empty, and it was too early for most stores and restaurants to be open. I honestly was reminded a little bit of that scene in The Walking Dead where Rick is riding his horse in ghost (zombie?) town Atlanta and turns a corner to be hit with a very hungry mob of dead people. But the difference here was that we were more alive than ever.

The very dead scene from The Walking Dead I was reminded of...

...versus Erin, Sarah, Bryn and I so, so full of life and a fire to fight for
what we believe in. Much better than zombies (I hope).
Photo by another March Attender on iPhone 6. 


Once we arrived at the route of the march, I was instantly encapsulated. The posters everywhere, some clever, others serious, and so many men and women not being afraid to stand up for their rights. The performers and speakers gave me the chance to connect with every other person around me even without speaking to each other, but by hearing the soulful lyrics and using them as fuel. It was like a way less ratchet Lollapalooza (I did however still have to make a "DOES ANYONE KNOW WHERE PERRY'S IS" joke. I couldn't resist).

The clouds cleared away for a beautiful and abnormally warm day in Chicago.
Photo by me on iPhone 6. 

The insane crowds at the March. There were police everywhere,
but I never saw or even heard about a trace of violence.
Photo by me on iPhone 6. 


This truly was a SAMO for me. I've been to lots of museums and seen plenty of speakers in my day (not to say that my first two quarters were not real SAMOs), but this was something I had NEVER experienced something like before. I don't hate crowds, but I'm not a major fan of them. I stood in that crowd, back aching, chanting and marching and discussing with some of my best friends for four hours. I hate the word empowering since I feel like I hear it so frequently, but damn did I feel empowered. The streets were overflowing. I was part of a movement that was not only occurring in Chicago, but all over the world. There were two Marches in Antarctica! If it's enough to distract the few people chillin' down there from the penguins, it must be a really big deal.

Sarah, Erin, and I showing our excitement.
Photo by me on iPhone 6. 

The march also made me further consider the issue of women's rights, and it furthered my frustration. The very prospect that the choices I get to make about my body are a political issue continues to blow my mind. There are bills in congress right now pushing for no abortions after a fetus has a heartbeat, and VP Mike Pence is pushing to get rid of birth control and abortions. It just...it doesn't work that way! This brings up my anger about the horrible sex education that is provided to many young people throughout America, but that's a whole different blog post. But here's a link to great spread Torch did on the topic last year.

I came home from the experience feeling charged head to foot with an electricity that only community and the rush I felt from marching could bring. However, high school boys have a horrible tendency of bringing things down. I scrolled through Instagram, viewing snap after snap of my friends from all over the country at the their respective city marches. Two junior girls from GBN held up two posters reading "Men of Quality Do Not Fear Equality" and "Uteruses B4 Duderuses" with caption "who run the world GIRLS." These posters, for some reason, really offended these boys!1!!! They commented obnoxious and just thoroughly unnecessary words, including, "The leader of the free world is a male as of yesterday," "Everyone in this is dumb as hell. Trump for life bitches," "Is there a f*cking dislike button," and "asking for equality as you caption your picture saying girls run the world. really making a statement about women intelligence."

Despite these comments, the girls kept their picture up. Even better, many women (including myself) fought back in the comments against these boys. They defended their friends, the march, and their stance. This Instagram post was just one instance I witnessed of people having some issue with the March. One girl I follow made it very clear on her Twitter that she didn't understand the point of the March, to stop complaining, this is democracy, peaceful transfer of power, blah blah blah...news flash. Protesting the government is also part of democracy. If it didn't matter and never made a difference, it probably wouldn't be in the First Amendment of that document so many right-wingers praise like a god, but of course they still get to line-item veto which amendments they don't like. Oh, and line-item veto was deemed unconstitutional in 1998.

Being a part of a movement that I care about, along with so many others made a profound impact on me. Whether I'm in New York or New Orleans or somewhere in Pennsylvania next year, I can't wait to get involved with other marches and protests to fight for what I believe in.

To close, here are two of my favorite posters from the march.

This pun, "Repeal the ACA and there'll be
hell toupee" is just undeniably hysterical.
Photo by me on iPhone 6. 

I don't know why the poster maker chose to dot the quarter rest,
but I don't doubt it was with good reason. 



Comments

  1. What happens after the marches and the twitter/social media commentary? While this definitely got you fired up, most people don't march every day... so now what?

    ReplyDelete

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