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Women’s March on Washington 2017

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

Women’s March on Washington 2017. The Museum of Natural History

I may have missed Woodstock in 1969, but I showed up for the Women’s March on Washington in 2017.

On Friday, January 20th, my daughter, her friend, and I drove the 8 hours from southwest Ohio to DC, meeting sister marchers along the way at gas stations and rest stops.  Easily recognizable to each other with no outward symbols, we all had a look of expectancy, determination, and zeal.

Near a Frederick, Maryland gas stop,we marveled at a Trump supporter: blonde, middle-aged, she wore a red and blue, sequined Trump-Pence jacket and sported Trump leggings of our new POTUS’ face from her waist to ankles. That led to conversation with pink-hatted women parked next to us. Two adults and two teens, they gifted us with three pink pussycat hats they had made. We posed for pictures and parted with: “See you in Washington!”

On Saturday, January 21st, we grabbed a quick breakfast at the hotel and piled into the shuttle bus, squeezing in 2 more women than there were seats. We were absorbed into slow-moving lines at the Franconia-Springfield station and met several hundred like-minded people. The sign, “A woman’s place is in the revolution,” sanctioned by Princess Leia, rocked us with laughter. Another,”Retired Marine–I’m with her and her and her,” blanketed us with gratitude.

By the time we packed the train and began moving, we had met hundreds of  jovial traveling companions. They had flown from as far away as California and driven from as nearby as Springfield, Virginia. After much bumping and jostling, we emerged at the L’Enfant stop and joined the crowd. We baby-stepped, stopped, shuffled, paused. We gulped fresh air at the top of the escalators. We emerged into a gathering of 500,000 of the friendliest people I’d ever met.

We walked north on 7th to Independence, the gateway to the stage near the Capitol. We tried going east on Jefferson, to no avail, to Madison, likewise. We skipped the jumbotrons in favor of moving toward the speakers.

We never made it to the stage. We passed the Smithsonian buildings twice, joined chants like, “This is what democracy looks like,” laughed at signs like ,”Get back in the DeLorean!!! We obviously turned the dial in the wrong direction!”

The platform speakers were still talking at 2:45.  We could hear roars of affirmation moving through the crowd like waves. The march, to begin at 1:15, was rerouted and marchers streamed on Jefferson and Madison and streets we couldn’t see.

We stepped over the draped chain fence at the Washington Monument and saw into the slight dip ahead of us, a gargantuan crowd that was merely a small part of the overall mass. We tramped toward the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, The Vietnam and World War II Memorials. We crossed the Arlington Memorial Bridge toward the Metro station and on to our hotel.

On Sunday, January 22nd, while checking out of the hotel, a sister marcher asked me why I was part of the march.

“Women’s right, human rights, reproductive rights.”

That was my initial reaction. Add: climate change, freedom for all ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, the right to health care.


My awareness of the feminist movement began in the 70s, during the second wave of feminism. My passion for it has never faded. In the last 50 years, the feminist movement has grown from bra-burning and a beauty pageant protest, to the inclusion of all peoples and the struggle for human rights

My daughter, born in the 70s, drove her friend and me, to Washington, D.C. and back to Ohio. In doing so, she linked my past and present, with our future, as women who will continue to speak out, to show up, and to support humane beliefs.