On Saturday, a constellation of woman-centered, anti-Trump protest lit up across all seven continents. (A group on an expedition ship in Antarctica adopted the unofficial slogan “Penguins for Peace.”) At the center of the action was the Women’s March on Washington, which drew an estimated half a million participants. There were men and women of all origins and orientations, a teeming parade of pink hats and protest signs that brightened against a pale silver fog blanketing the sky. There were sensible moms and crust punks, bros in Patagonia and toddlers on shoulders. A group of Gen Xers from Pittsburgh kept yelling, “Go Steelers!” A great-grandmother leaned on a walker, ambling gamely down the National Mall with clouds of cotton in her ears.
Before Saturday, there had been some fuss about the conceptual nature of a “women’s march.” Inside the movement, some women worried that other women would be given unfair priority; outside of it, some men sulked, apparently desiring to be addressed directly at all times. But it made sense to organize the first major post-Inauguration protest march around women, who are almost fifty-one per cent of the American population, who have been maligned and attacked by the new President, and who make up a group within which every other vulnerable population exists. The Women’s March protesters took an obvious, gentle pleasure in sharing space with people of divergent interests and appearances. There must have been a thousand shared apple slices at the demonstration, and, remarkably, not a single arrest by D.C. police. (At a Black Lives Matter demonstration, you probably would have seen many police officers, but on Saturday the presence of law enforcement felt minimal, which likely helped to keep the protest as peaceful as it was.)
Read more at the New Yorker.