Well, in 48 hours, Cheryl and I will be on a bus with 55 other women, en route to the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. With any luck, at this point (4 p.m.) we’ll be roughly 4 hours from the hotel near the BWI airport, but I have my doubts. I’ve driven from Nashville to Baltimore a zillion times, and it always takes longer than expected. But what do I care? The ride promises to be quite the experience in itself (I hope. I mean let’s face it. A busload of righteous chicks eating snacks, listening to protest music, watching Norma Rae, and wearing Pussy Hats. What’s not to love?).
The Women’s March organizers emphasize that this is not a protest march, but, rather, a mass gathering supporting the idea that women’s rights are human rights–and that those rights, along with the rights of nearly every minority (aside from bald men with psoriasis) are being threatened by the new super-craptastic administration and its Cheeto Leader, Twitler.
At a recent poster-making gathering of some of the women who will be on our bus, the idea that positive messages on posters are more effective than negative messages was discussed. I believe the comment, “Asking for what you want is better than complaining about what you don’t want,” was made. I can’t really disagree with this. I mean, in the 1960s, civil rights marchers held signs that said: I Am a Man, First Class Citizenship Now!, Justice for All, and Power to the People. No one, for example, carried a sign that read, George Wallace Has a Big Nose, or Damn, Honkies! WTF? or even I Seriously Do NOT Enjoy Alabama.
I’m all for positivism, being civil, and humming some Helen Reddy. Still, this is the sign I’ll be carrying:
Damn, I wish that showed up bigger here. It is truly a sight to behold at 18 x 22, bitches. On the blank backside, I’m drawing a massive cartoon cat head saying “Oh, HELL No!” If I remember, and if the sign doesn’t bite the dust at some point on this trip, I’ll take a picture of it for your viewing pleasure.
As the poster-making frenzy died down that evening (I would just like to mention that stencils are from hell) and boxed wine and Snickers made an appearance, the conversation became a thing of beauty. Every woman there was quite different. Ages ranged from 12 to 67, hair from pink to gray, and jobs from student to lawyer to director of a non-profit for gun control to waitress to something that sounded like “barnacle,” but I’m pretty sure that’s not a career path.
And yet, there was a real common bond/similar thread thing happening. I’m not just talking about everyone sitting around and bemoaning, “OMG! That Trump! Oh, how so very dreadful!” The thread had to do with that common experience of being on the outside looking in. And, as a result, seeing things that others either might not see or refuse to see. I don’t mean to say that it was a roomful of women who had experienced astounding discrimination and had super-crazy stories about it. I just mean that they were aware, watching, awake. Everyone agreed that these are unusual, unprecedented, and urgent times we’re in right now. There was the common itching desire to do something. Getting on the bus is a start. Most of the women had never been to a march/protest before, and certainly not one of this magnitude in the shadow of the mothereffing United States Capitol. Some admitted to being afraid.
I still see the posts on Facebook (gah) and hear people saying things along the lines of, “Well, now is the time for all of us to accept our next president and work on getting along, because that is what we do as Americans.”
I’d like to take a moment here and say BULLSHIT. I don’t know what country you live in, but when a dangerous, mentally ill, racist, admitted sex offender becomes president, I think what we should “do as Americans” is protest, revolt, write, vote, gather, read, talk, rise up, be patriots, and show a little love for this country. Maybe even get on a damned bus and eat some Doritos for 12 hours.