Last Saturday, the largest gathering of demonstrators in recent U.S. history assembled on the National Mall. No ‘alternative facts’ needed; it was.
Hundreds of thousands peacefully flooded the streets of D.C. to show their support for women’s rights, immigrants, LGBTQ, the environment, workers, and access to healthcare. Demonstrators donned witty signs, graphic tees, and a signature knit cap in a stunning show of progressive action one day after the inauguration of Donald Trump.
Rightly or wrongly, I am not a person who protests. In high school, I signed up for a rally in Washington so as to spend the day inside the museums. In college, I observed with astonishment as classmates, wrapped in “Spank the Bank” gear, bragged about getting tear gassed. It’s not that I disagree that predatory loans to developing countries do more harm than good, I’m just not someone who wants to be tear gassed. Ever.
Paradoxically, I’m also not someone who bows to authority, and I’ve never met a fight I won’t pick. I’m just not a joiner. I rarely even “like” things on Facebook. But some shit is just too important to stay quiet.
Which is why when my friend, Lara, wanted to bring her daughter down for the Women’s March, I easily agreed.
And on Saturday, we marched. Hand-in-hand, my oldest friend in the world – an outspoken warrior for the rights of women and the marginalized – and her tough, bright, beautiful daughter. On Julia’s tenth birthday, she was surrounded by a sea of kind, determined people speaking out in defense of her rights and her future.
We hope that she will remember the experience, the crowds, and the community. We hope that in lieu of celebrating double-digits with her peers, she felt celebrated by something bigger. We can’t guarantee her experience as a woman will be more equal than ours, but we will certainly hit the streets to silence those not on her side.