Recap: Women’s March – What an AMAZING day!

I felt electricity and excitement all week as I readied myself for the Women’s March-LA. Deciding to attend the moment I heard about it in November, I’ve had a growing surge of energy in my heart. Friday night as I was getting my stuff together, I was wired and couldn’t pull myself toward the necessary call of sleep. Reminding myself at 1 am that it would be an early, bustling, busy day, I finally went to bed.

Waking early for the march, I double checked the transportation routes to Pershing Square. I spoke to my dad on the drive down and he reminded me to “keep my wits about me,” a piece of advice he’s literally said since I was a kid. He wasn’t joking, however. Anytime there are large crowds in densely populated areas, he worries, and with the trend of terrorist events in the world for the past decade, he had every right to remind and warn. He also asked if there’d be a hundred thousand people there. I replied that I suspected there might be a million. I was serious. (We ended up with about 750,000 participants!)

Turns out, I wasn’t kidding. Getting to the LA Metro in the San Fernando Valley wasn’t only my bright idea. So many other people had the same game plan, so we kept going to the next stop. Seeing people of all ages wearing the now infamous pink hats stream into the station was the first indicator that the day would be magical. Witnessing mothers and fathers with their small children, multi-generations and teenagers waiting in the ticketing line felt perfect.

I choked back tears a hundred times seeing mothers wearing their babies, seeing teenagers in groups looking eager and wide-eyed, seeing women in their 70s holding signs saying “Still Marching.” I felt unified and peaceful as soon as I descended into the underground metro station and heard mobs of people cheering. When someone called out that the trains were free, it felt so right! (I don’t know if LA Metro truly made the day free, but everyone was happy to enjoy access and free turnstiles!) The energy felt so hopeful and we all had the same cause!

We finally made it to the Pershing Square exit and gradually inched above ground. Immediately, I heard Beyoncé’s voice blasting from speakers in a high rise and saw people dancing in the streets. Looking up, there were people displaying banners and posters from their large windows and clapping, cheering and dancing with the street marchers. It felt mobbed, but I felt safe, happy and buzzing. The crowd slithered along slowly, and we fell in line. I ran into some old friends throughout the morning and met up with my friend, Sasha, an activist-feminist-mermaid-goddess. We high-fived marchers with amazing signs and felt a general sense of togetherness all day. We also had a discussion with my friend Jonesy, who I want to commend for going to the march alone. He works at an all-boys school and is also a football referee (he had to ref a game after the march. Think about those polarities). I’m impressed and honored he was there. We talked about the difference between the concepts of feminism and humanism and learned this: 

Humanism is a branch of philosophy and ethics that advocates for equality, tolerance and secularism. … Humanism and Egalitarianism are important intellectual movements whose philosophies inform Feminism as well as global human rights legislation. But Feminism is the only movement actively advocating for gender equality.

For me, the march was all about doing something that helps create our present. I wasn’t marching to make history; I marched to be united with people.  Last week I attended a goddess gathering retreat (will try to write about that soon) and this march was like a red thread that continued the momentum. I felt a bond with the “ReSisters” and people who care about health care, the environment, getting our voices heard, women’s rights, human rights, and bettering the world. The sun shone on Los Angeles and sparkled with pink hats, neon signs, and strong people who want their voices heard, even the introverts.

I’ve read some Facebook accounts of why people marched. It comes down to this for me: I’m reminded of and united with other people who feel similarly. I’m not alone in my beliefs or values for my country or our world. Seeing the enormity of this march and realizing just how many other people expressed themselves by making signs, marching, and supporting makes me feel safer in the world. I don’t know if these numbers of people who showed up to march will have an impact on legislative policy, but I do believe so many more people are awake now. Now that’s important! Here’s how you can get involved with 10 actions in the next 100 days.

I’m a Life Coach. Please contact me for inquiries. Check out this post: Femininity? Feminism? Is there room for both?

 

Some signs that caught my attention

 

 

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Here I am with Sasha
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4 thoughts on “Recap: Women’s March – What an AMAZING day!

  1. Thanks for sharing, Nina. It’s interesting to see the similarities we all felt throughout the experience. If I may, here’s a short summary of mine.

    The Day After- Rainy Day Reflections:
    We made a last minute decision to put the various other plans (and fears) aside and join the Women’s March LA yesterday. Although I didn’t realize the scope of it at that moment, I felt one day I would like to look back and know I was part of that speckle in history.

    I do have to say that social media played a positive role in this decision as I perused fb and was inadvertantly motivated by NDers Elika Dadsetan, Andrew Howard, and Derek Young’s posts that morning. I was also excited to hear my mom would make the trek over there.

    I did not imagine I would be engulfed by a sea of people, positive energy, celebration, diversity, unity, inspiration, tolerance, acceptance, PEACE. LOVE.

    Throughout the day’s activities I realized my feelings these days of disgust, fear, rage, frustration, shame, sadness- are not in the minority. They are in the majority. And NO, I don’t have to, and shouldn’t, remain silent or complacent.

    I was surprised by how many men flocked to show their support for their female counterparts. I realized the surge of power and connectivity one feels when holding hands with strangers and raising them up in the air professing to together work for future generations, as past generations have done for ours. I witnessed time stopping when a mass of hundreds of thousands listened as one to a rendition of Hallelujah. I could go on. I held back tears sporadically and often throughout the whole event. I am doing so even today. It was just a wonderful day.

    Before leaving the house yesterday, I reminisced. When I was 6, my brother 3, on vacation in Chile, my mom took us to our first protest. It was a lesson in civic duty and standing up for what one believes in. That day, the military ended up tear gassing the protestors, and when we all scurried and panicked, some strangers ushered us into their homes to shelter us.

    I also remembered when my brother, the nanny’s toddler, and I, organized our own protest. I was 9. We paraded around the house with pots, pans, and signs while chanting “WE WANT A DOG! WE WANT A DOG”.

    I’m thankful for these experiences, lessons, and these memories. And I’m so grateful for the persistent nudge in my gut yesterday that told me to get off the couch and go march.

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    • Carla! You capture my sentiments so eloquently. I’m pleased that so many of us had similar, favorable experiences and feel more compelled to act. Reading your own recap makes me choke back tears of familiarity and “me too!” We are not alone!! I loved your protest at home. Did you get a dog?? Your story from when you were 6 is powerful and it’s remarkable that your mother was so strong. I think she’s helped guide you as a wonderful feminist and humanist.

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  2. I felt the same way at the SF march! Amazing community spirit, amazing energy. I left feeling a lot more hopeful for our future.

    The only thing that brought down our march is the rain. It poured the entire time!

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