In the wake of the Woman’s March on Washington this past weekend, people are naming Donald Trump the world record holder for “Man rejected by the most women in one day.” I like to think of how upset this fact must make him. It represents another fact that does not have any alternatives.
Nonetheless Trump was not only rejected by the hundreds of thousands of women in Washington D.C., he was also rejected by the many identities that intersect with that of womanhood and which resonate around the world.
I arrived on the National Mall a little after 10:00 am to find more than 400,000 people already in attendance and no way of approaching the main stage where feminist role models fired up the crowd. Though the day was overcast, a pink glow reflected off the faces around me and into the distance: the reflection of pussy hats, pink signs, and determined, smiling faces.
I stood among friends and strangers for three hours, waiting for the call to march and watching the Mall and surrounding streets fill in with more and more protesters. The crowd reportedly grew to at least three times that of the 250,000 who bought tickets for the Inauguration on Friday. I did not see a single person push or get pushed. I did not hear a rude word aside from those appropriately directed at Trump. When people accidentally bumped into one another they said, “I’m sorry” as earnestly and unnecessarily as Hillary Clinton did in her Concession Speech.
While waiting, we chanted. Sometimes the chant took the form of screams and shouts that traveled along the crowd in a wave from the Capital Building to the Monument. At other points people took turns leading chants that ranged in topic and which often continued until the leader lost their voice. This was about women’s rights and much more. We were there to fight for respect and equality regardless of identity.
“Tell me what democracy looks like! This is what democracy looks like!” We smiled and stomped our feet as if we could communicate our solidarity through shaking the earth and sending reverberations to protestors across the country and world.
“Black lives matter!” We shouted over and over again, willing the repetition to undo the repeated crimes and abuses committed against anyone unlucky enough to be born with beautiful melanin-filled skin.
“Can’t build a wall, hands too small!” We hollered indignantly as someone dressed as a grotesque Trump waved tiny purple hands, his mouth piggish and agape. I grinned at the man next to me as he jumped up and down wearing a sash that read, “Angry gay Mexican.”
“Her body her choice,” fathers, brothers, sons, and partners yelled as women called back, “My body my choice!” Two teams fighting on the same side as they held up signs: “Stand with Planned Parenthood,” “Abort Trump,” “Get your rosaries off my ovaries,” “Pussies in formation,” “Outraged.”