Opinion · Personal Essay

#WomensMarch: Signs and Portents

Some things that happened to or around me at the Women’s March NYC on Saturday, January 21, 2017. They seemed kinda metaphorical.

  • I stopped in a bodega on the way to the march and their radio was playing that Billy Joel song “Always a Woman,” which personally I find demeaning but maybe I just don’t know what the words are.
  • The first time I got slowed up in traffic was at the corner of Second Avenue and Katharine Hepburn Place.
  • I passed a store called Diplomatic Outfitters with a huge GOING OUT OF BUSINESS notice.
  • After I’d stood around for most of four hours in a big crowd not going anywhere, I tried to sit down on a wall thing in front of a nearby building, but it was too high off the ground. So the people already up there reached down and hauled me up.
  • Did I mention we stood around for four hours before walking anywhere? I joked that it was a Women’s Stand rather than a Women’s March – but hey, that’s appropriate too.
  • The crowd was so densely packed that half the time, when I took a step, someone kicked me in the sole of my upraised foot. In other words, literally the only space available was where someone else had just stepped, like ‘Good King Wenceslas.’
  • I got whacked in the face by an enormous flag that said PEACE.

Here are about 40 photos I took of my favorite signs carried by other people. Nearly all of them are peacemongering, inclusive, and inspiring. A few others were just too perfectly snarky to pass up. (Click on the photo to browse the full album.)

Women's March NYC 1/21/17: Inspiring Signs

The success of these marches, all around the world, is the first tangible thing since last November 9 to make me really think that these may not be…wait for it…signs of the apocalypse.