Why We March: Reflections from Women’s Marches

On Saturday, January 21st, the day after Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States, millions of people gathered to voice their opposition to his platform and administration.

In the aftermath, demonstrators took to their blogs — we’ve gathered reflections and photos from those who marched.


Why I Marched,” Worley Headspace Blog

First-time demonstrator Amy Worley was moved by her ethics and faith to march in Raleigh, North Carolina, and penned this open letter letting her representatives know it.

Dear Representative:

I need you to know why.

You represent me. You need to understand.

I don’t march. I’ve never done it before.

41 years and no marching.

Democrat and Republican presidents. No marching.

But I vote. Every. Single. Time.  I also write checks to help worthy candidates get elected.

So, you need to know why I woke up early on a cold, wet January morning to walk down Fayetteville Street with 15,000 North Carolinians.  You need to know why I made signs reminding my fellow citizens that love drives out hate.


womensmarchsj2

Suhita Shirodkar participated in a march in San Jose, California, with sketchbook in hand — see all her impressions on Sketch Away.


What Good Does it Do to March?,” LoriLoo

Lori McCleese joined the march in Oakland, California, and articulated her reasons why to her taxi driver on the way home.

“I hope he’ll surprise us all and be a good president.”

“I try to keep my mind open to that possibility. Based on what I’ve seen and heard, though, my hopes aren’t high. Until then, though, we’ll march, we’ll organize, we’ll protest, and we’ll do what we can to fight the gross oppression America has harbored for way too long. That’s my idea of making America great.”


Crowds at the Portland, Oregon, Women's March

Sean Talbot joined thousands of people marching in the rain in Portland, Oregon. See more of his photos from the day at Stumptown Lives.


in-the-pink-city-hall

In San Francisco, California, marcher Jane Lurie captured this image of City Hall, awash in pink. See more of her photos at Jane Lurie Photography.


I Think You Meant to Say ‘Thank You’,” Challa and Haggis

Rachel MacAulay marched in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and followed up the day with a few words for those who didn’t understand the point of the march, or who insulted its participants.

You say that we’re not going to accomplish anything and we’re wasting our time. It may be true, but believe me, it’s worth the try. It’s worth the investment of airfare, bus charters, overnight hotel rooms. Because the time to act is now, even if it’s a continuous series of nows for as long as it takes. Later is too late. Speaking truth to power needs to be done before that truth has been so twisted by that power; so turned inside out and upside down that people start forgetting the real truth and believing the altered one.

I marched today to lend my voice to what turned out to be at least two million others, around the globe. We are, all of us, the last tiny voice in Whoville. Together, we will be heard. Only together will we be heard.


Marchers in Portland, Oregon

The blogger behind Liff In Life (pictured above, right) also marched in Portland, Oregon. See more photos and read about her experience in her post, “Rain On This Parade?


What the Women’s March Meant to a Man Who Stayed Home and Watched the Kids,” The Boeskool

The writer of popular blog The Boeskool shared photos taken by his wife, who participated in a march in Nashville, Tennessee, and offered his thanks to her and all the other demonstrators.

So thank you, women who marched! Thanks to the men also –- both the ones who marched, and the ones who stayed home with the kids –- but thank you most of all to the women. Thank you for your strength and for your compassion and for the way you make the world better. Thank you for the voices that won’t be silenced. Thank you to those of you who are willing to be unapologetically in-your-face about demanding and preserving your rights. Thank you for letting my daughter see how many of you there are out there. Thank you to my wife for showing our kids every day that women are strong and feminism is totally kick ass. Thank you for filling me with hope.


dsc04379

In Minneapolis, Minnesota, Heather Whepley caught this photo of former state Governor Floyd Olsen adorned with one of the pink knit hats that were ubiquitous at the marches. See more of her day at Every Day and In Between.


Women’s March,” chic nerd reads

After the New York City march, the blogger at chic nerd reads was moved to remember the day in verse.

you keep trying
to diminish us,
as if you forget
about the flower
that bloomed you
into existence.

– and we march on and on and on and on


A young girl marches with her family at the Women's March on Washington

A young girl marches with her family at the Women’s March on Washington. See more photos from Washington, D.C., in “To Bear Witness” at When I See You Again.


Intersectionality,” Marquita Nicole

Marquita Nicole attended her local march despite misgivings, and found her doubts both confirmed and assuaged.

I saw a young white girl of about 8 or 9 years wearing a “‘Nah — Rosa Parks” shirt. I saw white teenage girls with Black Lives Matter on theirs and elders with figures like Malcolm, Marcus and Martin on theirs. I saw middle to upper class white family holding a sign that said “Racism Is Not Okay”. And there, somewhere in the crowd, was my very mixed but classified as white friend who actually did attend Black Lives Matter stands and has stood with us from the beginning. She and her children.

Moreover, the marching protesters — mostly white anglo and white hispanic — walked up and down a major street chanting “NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE, NO RACIST POLICE.”

And that made me feel good. Good as fuck, if you really want to know.

But I do wonder, is this all just a part of the anti-Trump frenzy, or has he actually sparked a unification?

Not all women, even those who vocally oppose the Trump administration, attended — or even supported — the marches; many women of color were troubled by an event that seemed to ignore the work and concerns of non-white activists (or at worst, to appropriate it). For more, read Ain’t I a Woman: Feminist Intersectional History and the Women’s March,” by Erica Ifill of Not In My Colour and “Which Women’s March,” by Bianca at Black Girl Candidly.


To My White Sisters Among the 48%,” Maureen O’Leary

Writer Maureen O’Leary was at a march in California, and followed up with a post exhorting white women to continue — and extend — their activism.

We went out of our “comfort zones” yesterday by taking to the streets. Let’s keep practicing our activism by also attending marches and events specifically geared towards the concerns of racial justice, equality in education, clean water, and immigration. Yes, we should have been doing it all along, but let’s start now anyway. Let’s extend ourselves further than we ever have before, and listen to to what our brothers and sisters of other races are saying without jumping to defense. Let’s dare to show up for everyone. After all, if we think fascism is new to the United States, I point to our history of slavery, Jim Crow, and Manifest Destiny and say no it isn’t. We have citizen brothers and sisters who have been facing death and destruction by government order for generations.


Interested in more inauguration-related reading? Longreads partnered with journalists from The Stranger to cover the run-up, inauguration, and aftermath — read the culmination of their work here.

January 26, 2017Current Events, Gender, Illustration, LGBTQ, Photography, Political Commentary, Race,