Power to the Pussies: A Dispatch From the Women’s March Los Angeles
After a rainy Friday yesterday and ahead of what’s expected to be an intensely rainy day tomorrow, there’s only one conclusion at which a logical person can arrive after witnessing today’s clear skies: The cosmic weather committee in charge of Los Angeles are feminists, too. It was a beautiful day for the resistance.
I headed downtown this morning with my partner of thirteen years and a handful of close friends. Like the majority of people in this country, the idea that Donald Trump was going to be our president affected my state of being in the days, weeks, and months afterward in ways I could not have anticipated (and may we never get over this absurd, absurd thing that we as a country have done: A man gleefully admitted to sexual assault. Our entire country bore witness to the things he said. And then our country made him the most powerful man in the world). Yesterday, I wasn’t at all tempted to watch the inauguration, but I couldn’t stay off the news. I couldn’t keep myself from hitting the refresh button, hoping for some new damning revelation (an evolved breed of damning revelation, I guess, because he’s somehow survived many already). But nothing arrived. When Donald Trump put his hand on the bible, his hand didn’t catch on fire even a little bit (though there is some consolation in the fact that his tie was held together by Scotch tape. Again). And I even saw pictures of President Obama joking around with him (may we continue to be reminded that Michelle is really always the example of How to Be), which is about as pleasurable a thing to witness as finding a tub of cottage cheese that’s been under your car seat for two weeks.
The LA Times is reporting that today’s crowd was 750,000 (way, way larger than the 80,000 originally expected), and it’s estimated that up to 2.5 million people participated in the protest marches all across the country today (and yeah, if you’re keeping track, that’s almost as many people who voted for Hillary over Trump.) What those numbers suggest is what I got to see firsthand today: overwhelming waves upon waves of humanity converging in a rejection of discrimination and malicious stupidity. There were women, yes, but a ton of men, too. A lot of men who are learning to be feminists, who didn’t realize until recently why they need to learn how to be feminists. Women learning to become better, intersectional feminists. People who came to support women, but saw right in front of them the need to champion the rights of people of color and the LGBTQIA community and the disabled. There were mothers with their daughters, between whom I could sense that intangible knowingness of what a man like this means; there were sisters and best friends holding their hearts outside of their bodies for each other; boyfriends and husbands not knowing quite what to say or do, but trying - and learning - in the procees. Dads with their little daughters, mothers with their young sons, all of them trying to open an early window into that simple ideal that continues to evade our society: that we all deserve to be treated fairly and equally.
I am angry and I will hang on to that anger because I need it. But I know I’m not alone in the transcendent surprise of today—of that you-have-to-see-it-to-believe-it massive-scale unity that far exceeded the expectations of our own optimistic hearts. What more is there to take away from it than that? We have surprised each other and we must continue to do so. Donald Trump and his administration will be forced to reckon with the full force of our anger and determination, the depths of which will surprise even us. I hope that fucker’s ready, because from the looks of today, we sure as hell are.