Jan 23, 2017
At the Women’s March on Washington
Before I get to the meat of this post I wanted to let you know that I’m revamping my newsletter, which I have sadly neglected for the past couple of years. Things are changing now! I’ve given my newsletter a title: Lo & Behold, an ingenious name that fabulous author Kiersten White thought of. And tomorrow I will send out the very first issue, with actual real news about my upcoming book. If you’re already a subscriber, you don’t have to resubscribe; you’ll get Lo & Behold No. 1. But if you’re not a subscriber yet, please consider subscribing at this link or by entering your email in that box on the right side of this website. And thank you!
Welp. Things didn’t go as planned. Only a few days later, Comey issued his ridiculous letter, and things went to hell for Hillary. After the horrifying election, I initially thought I’d sell my hotel rooms to some Trump supporters (and possibly profit off them), but within days, plans for a huge protest march began to take shape. That became the Women’s March on Washington.
At first I was nervous about going. Trump and his red hatted army were pretty scary to me. I didn’t really want to go anywhere they were going. But my wife, who went to the 1993 March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation (that was the name back then) immediately signed on to the Women’s March. I’ve gone to protests before — remember the W. years? — and I definitely protested in San Francisco during the Proposition 8 fiasco, but I am not a regular protester. My advocacy work has largely been centered online and through my writing. And I’m scared of massive crowds, to be honest. I was anxious for the entire week leading up to the Women’s March, and I had tension headaches when I was there.
However. Since my wife was going, well, I went too. And I am really, really glad I did. Here are a lot of photos and some videos from my weekend in D.C.
I shot this video outside the White House. There was a group of Obama supporters, but there were also red-hatted Trump supporters. People yelled at each other. It was honestly disconcerting and a little scary — and this was just Thursday night!
That night we went to dinner at Logan Tavern. We were seated next to a group who had come for the Trump inauguration, but our check at the end of dinner had this amazing quote on it. It showed me that we have friends everywhere.
We caught sight of these protesters from our hotel on Friday. I thought they looked, frankly, pretty scary.
On Friday we also went to a Teach-in on feminism at Politics & Prose bookstore, where feminists including Rebecca Traister spoke. It was packed wall to wall! It was definitely a sign of what was coming at the Women’s March.
Although the vast majority of the march experience was positive, there were some downsides for me. I’ve never been in a crowd this massive, and while 99% of the people there were friendly and supportive — and willingly moved out of the way if we tried to get through the crowd — a few were not. At one point we were pressed in so closely I started to panic. This was late into the waiting game; the march was already an hour late in starting, and everyone around me was tired and probably a bit tense. For a brief time, it felt like things could go really, really wrong. I think that the march organizers were simply unprepared for the overwhelming turnout. There just wasn’t room for all of us in those closely packed streets. Thankfully, we all got through it, and eventually we were allowed to start the march.
I think that as we push ourselves to resist in this administration, it’s important to consider what kind of resistance we can do. It’s good to push yourself — and I want to push myself — but I also want to acknowledge to myself that I do have general anxiety disorder, and some things are a lot harder for me to do than others. I can write. I can speak up in person and online. And I’m thinking about what I’m best suited to do to resist.
And last but not least:
I’ll leave you with two great essays about the Women’s March on Washington: Rebecca Traiser’s New York Magazine article “The Complicated, Controversial, Historic, Inspiring Women’s March” and Jia Tolentino’s New Yorker piece “The Radical Possibility of the Women’s March.”
The Women’s March is over, but the fight for equality and justice continues.
Comments are closed.