March for Women's Lives
When I left, they were talking about the biggest march in history. Taking tally, they were talking about 1 million people. The news wasnt saying; Im sure that theyll have a much lower figure before the day is out.
Still, the Womens March was incredible. Even my six year old daughter, who I dragged along, caught the air of excitement. Drums beating somewhere in the marching background, she and her boy playmate danced and shouted: Two-four-six-eight/I decide my right to ovate!, holding a sign like a drum majorette: My Moms Choice!
Everyone had their own agenda there. We started marching in back of about twenty women too old to conceive; they were marching because they had back alley abortions or their
friend/sister/aunt had one. Many times, I heard them say, they died or became infertile.
Mommy? Why does that old lady have a coat hanger with the words Never Again on her sign? I looked at my friend who stared back at me. Honey Ill explain when youre older, I shrugged off.
Some women were pregnant and marching. Inevitably, they wore banners around their chests and very large bellies: Invited Guest.
We stepped out of the march for a moment to get the kids some ice-cream they were whining
about. One crowd of students stalked by wearing all black, things pierced and hair spiked. We idled, keeping close eye on the kids. Many people, men and women, wearing pink with rainbow buttons marched by, carrying signs saying What Next?, winking and smiling at the kids, who grinned back chocolate grins. Large banners floated by: Women of Color for Reproductive Justice and Family Planning Worldwide.
Funny sign, I pointed out to my friend, as the woman sauntered by: Keep your Bush off my Bush.
There were many church groups marching as well. When I asked, curiously, what led them to the march; I would have assumed that, for this position, they would be on the other side. A man simply pointed to his button: Its Gods Decision, Not Bushs
We re-joined the march among more kids, some flagging, some sitting on their fathers shoulders or riding in strollers. Many parents were wearing buttons saying, Abort Bush, their children wearing, Feminist in the Making or simply, Equality of All.
At last we squeezed back onto the Mall. The rally had already begun. We piled official signs (Who Decides?) on top of one another and collapsed far away from the heart of the crowd,
taking out bagels and juice from my backpack. On the humongous screen, forceful, positive people were on stage: Whoopi Goldberg, Natalin Albright, Ted Turner, Ashley Judd, Gloria Steinam, Christine Lahti, and plenty more I lost track. Were Bill and Hillary going to be speaking too? I wasnt sure.
So, Sweetheart, I asked my daughter before lights out, fed and washed and sleepy, What did you like about the march and what didnt you?
Well, my daughter said seriously, I didnt like that we had to walk for so long. And I didnt like that it was so loud.
And what about what you did like? I prodded.
I did like it that we were marching for fairness.
As I tucked her in, I remembered a slogan on a sign that day: If men could get pregnant, you could get an abortion in Wal-Mart