Love Trumps Hate (The Women’s March: Macrocosm and Microcosm)

Last weekend I participated in the Women’s March in Los Angeles.  It was organized to be a sister march to one scheduled in Washington, DC.  Its goal was……to support women’s rights, and it did.  But most know that a secondary mission was to protest the presidency of Donald Trump.   It’s impossible to separate the two, because many of Trump’s agendas are directly threatening to the health and welfare of women and families, not to mention the environment that supports us all.

I was ambivalent about going.  Not because I don’t support the causes – I do – but because I was a bit worried.  I’m not as young as I used to be, and going would involve taking public transit into LA (which I’ve never done before) or driving and facing closed streets and full parking lots (which I’ve done too many times before).  Plus I have back problems and was concerned about the long day of walking and standing.  I could have stayed home and supported it in my heart.

The main reason I ended up going makes me smile now:  I was worried that there might not be a good turnout.  I know many people feel the way I do, but would they brave those same barriers and show up?  I didn’t want the March to appear piddly and feed Trump’s already narcissistic idea that few people oppose his policies; I could help just by contributing a body.  Instead, an estimated 700,000 people turned out!   And that was just in Los Angeles.  The original march in Washington had over half a million.  New York had between 500,000 and a million.  Chicago had 250,000.  The list goes on:  Boston, Philly, Miami, Denver, Seattle, etc.

And size isn’t the only factor.  Those are bigger cities, but small cities and even small towns around the nation were represented.  Borrego Springs, CA had 140 people.  I’ve spent a fair amount of time visiting there; that must have been practically the whole town!

So this was not just a DC event, and it was not just a US event:  Cities around the world also took part.  Places like Toronto, London, Barcelona, Mexico City – even the research station in Antarctica had 30 participants (more if you count the penguins!)  It was a global event, and the largest of its kind in history.

Academics are still working on the calculations, but here is a preliminary list that is pretty interesting:

http://news.infoshop.org/dissent/womens-march-global-tally

Best of all, in the two cities that had the largest marches, police reported that crowds were always peaceful and respectful, and there were NO ARRESTS.  I expect other cities were similar.

That was the macrocosm, which Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines as “1 : the great world : universe. 2 : a complex that is a large-scale reproduction of one of its constituents.”  Millions of people came together to stage a world-wide peaceful protest.

Now for the microcosm.

Once I had decided to go, some friends wanted to come from out of town to join me.  They also wanted to help make sure that I could sit and walk comfortably.  The two adult women spent the evening before knitting pink ‘pussy hats,’ while the girl and I made signs.

tiny-hands        sammi-me-3

sammi-me        3-women

       –   Images of  three women by artist Shephard Fairey 

(made available to the public for the Marches)

While we worked, she asked me to explain the meaning of the March, which I gladly did.  She is a woman of the future, and what is happening now is going to have a profound impact on her life and those of other young people I care about.  This march would be in HER honor!

In the morning, we met with friends of theirs and all caught the train into Los Angeles.  It wasn’t full when it arrived, but it was when it left.  There was standing room only, and in fact, people were standing – and sitting – in the bathroom (luckily no one had to ‘go’)!  Everyone was cheerful, polite, and generous of spirit.

train

Being in the March was amazing.  Most of us lost phone coverage, yet I still managed to connect with two other close friends.  There was a constant kaleidoscope – a sea of pink hats, funny or thought-provoking signs, friendly police officers.  In one favorite segment, women chanted, “My body, my choice!” and enthusiastic men called back, “Your body, your choice!”  Imagine the females of all ages there, but especially the young ones, witnessing such homage to Girl Power!

chriss-pink-hats     chriss-city-hall    chriss-long-view

        –  Los Angeles Women’s March, photographs by Christopher Haug

Oh yeah, and there were portapotties.  Duh!  Why is that worth mentioning?  Because near the beginning of the March I used one, and at the end of the March I realized … (dun dun dun) … that I had left my new phone in it.  Aarrgghhh!  Not that I could easily go back, walking against the crowd, but I knew there was not much reason to go because thousands of people would have already gone inside after me; someone would have taken it.  It really cast a pall on an otherwise great day, because there were pictures on the phone that I had not saved elsewhere.

Later we had dinner; we took the train back.  At home I checked my landline messages as I always do.  One was from my college roommate, which was not unusual.  But her message was:  “Lynda, call me!  I heard from someone who says she has your phone!”  Turns out that my phone was locked, but if the woman who found it paid close attention, and if the phone received a text, she had a brief window to text back to that person.  My friend had texted, the woman caught it and replied.  I called her that night  and drove back to Los Angeles to get the phone the next day.  What a lovely person she is!  She said she had to do everything possible to get my phone back to me.

And so the microcosm, defined by Merriam-Webster as “1 : the little world. 2 : a community or other unity that is an epitome of a larger unity.”  A stranger went out of her way to help another; commUNITY.

Lastly, another microcosm:  Two of the people who stayed with, marched with, and helped me are the wife and daughter of an ex of mine.  Proving one of the most popular signs in the March – Love trumps Hate.

See you April 15, if not sooner.   😉

chriss-love-balloon

– Photograph by Christopher Haug

Advertisements

73 thoughts on “Love Trumps Hate (The Women’s March: Macrocosm and Microcosm)

  1. I think that the march was one of the most amazing symbols of unity that I have seen. Women’s rights are not up for negotiation. I despise the fact that men are making decisions for women and what their reproductive rights should be. I wanted to go to the march but I had to finish homework and submit some assignments. My aunt attended the march and she said that it was amazing. Also, the story about you phone was priceless. There are still some good people in the world.

    Like

  2. I’ve heard a lot of conservative people I know and work with criticize the protests. They say we need to accept things the way they are and not be poor sports about the election loss. I will never understand this attitude because the only thing that has ever made necessary changes to our system is protesting! From civil rights, to gay rights, to abortion rights, to free speech rights, to human rights. Now we even have to protest for the right to allow Muslims into the country. What’s wrong with us? How did we let it come to this? It is precisely because we weren’t out there protesting before the election that Donald Trump won the most powerful seat in the world.

    People like to say that my generation is lazy, apathetic, and too consumed by social media to participate in the political system. I think this protest proves that we don’t get enough credit. Cheers to more of these protests in the next four years. We’re going to need it.

    Like

    • Very well put, Grace! Change does not happen because people sit and do nothing. I protested against the VietNam War and for civil rights, and I will continue to demonstrate on behalf of what I believe is right. I hope you will, too.

      Like

  3. To be apart of such a historic moment, that will without a doubt make it to our future generations textooks as a moment in time where women were still fighting for their rights as human beings. Sounded like an amazing empowering event to experience.

    Like

  4. That is an awesome story of humanity being good to each other, feeling and sharing love, and coming together to use their power in a positive way. I think that the messages we fight for are better heard when we are examples of what we advocate. I wish I would’ve gone! Maybe I could’ve gone and found myself a strong woman! If not, I could have just supported, of course. :p

    Like

  5. I love the idea of women coming together and standing up for what they believe in. Unfourtunately I disagree with Trumps previous choices to defunned planned parenthood and pro life stances because I am very much pro choice. Aside from that I am a huge Republican and Trump supporter and I think he wants to make America a safe superpower and I’m all for it.

    Like

  6. It’s amazing to hear about such an event. I can’t believe that I didn’t hear about an event on this scale (which really goes to show how much more I need to pay attention to what’s going on in the world around me). It makes me happy to hear about people being so kind to one another. I also love to hear about men and women, alike, standing up for women’s rights. It makes me smile to hear about the positivity that this event spread, unlike the negativity that “feminism” sometimes sparks. Don’t get me wrong I am all for women’s rights and equality, but sometimes people take things too far and begin shaming men by making harsh generalizations based off of some outspoken sexists. I would love to participate in the next one and show my own support for the cause and experience this kind of positivity for myself!

    Like

    • I’m surprised that you didn’t hear about it, especially because it was a GLOBAL event, with cities and countries around the world taking part! I have a feeling you will have another opportunity, just watch the news and google. It’s nice to hear men caring about women’s welfare and rights. 🙂

      Like

  7. This March was such a revolutionary point this year in showing the Nation what mass amounts of people believe in and stand for. It must have been quite the spectacle to be there for yourself, especially since LA is such big place to be marching in. i applaud you for having the courage to go even though it would be tiring and exhausting (mentally and physically i would assume)

    Like

  8. Lynda,
    I too attended the Women’s March in Downtown LA. I’ve been to several protests before, and I attended the anti-Trump march/protest the day before. Aside from the difference in weather, the atmosphere was completely different for the Women’s March. I felt like I had goosebumps the entire time because I couldn’t believe how many people were actually there. I couldn’t believe how many people were supporting us: women!! Later, when I heard the actual numbers being put to what we had accomplished, I was shocked. It feels so empowering to know that I was a part of history that day. Just like the brave men and women who marched and protested during the civil rights era, we would be represented for this generation. I was sorry to hear that you lost your phone, I had a similar experience with losing our car! The excitement and energy took over and we didn’t even think to check or write down what parking garage we had parked in. It took almost two hours just to find our car again. Nevertheless, this was an experience I will never forget.

    Like

  9. I found it inspiring that you decided to go and support the women’s march and put aside all the obstacles keeping you from attending. I have never participated in a march but I appreciate those who represent us that don’t and that take the time to go out and stand up for what is right and just. The work you ladies (and gents) go through is incredible. Just as you put it, it is in HER honor. Not just for us ladies who’ve already made a mark in this world but to our future generations; our unborn sisters. Way to make a change!

    Like

    • Thank you for your generous words! I hope you get to go sometimes because they are very empowering experiences. Girl power! (But I’m glad you mentioned the gents, because they were an important part of it.)

      Like

  10. Although I wasn’t able to attend this event, I’m certain I would like to go next time! It surely is eye-opening to see how entire communities join forces to stand by what they think is right. It is also reassuring to see that they protest the derelict legislation of our president. My faith in humanity still stands strong!

    Like

    • As a veteran of many protest marches (including the largest ever march against the war in Viet Nam), I can tell you they are amazing, empowering experiences (as long as everyone keeps a cool head). I’m glad you are keeping the faith alive!

      Like

  11. It’s crazy how such a huge group of women can come together to help each other send such a powerful message. It just shows how strong each one is and how race, sexual identity, beliefs all don’t matter because sticking together and marching as one makes us so much stronger! I am so proud to be a woman. Hopefully one day I can attend one of these marches.

    Like

  12. I had been wanting to go to the March myself but I was worried because I’ve never been to a March before and I was scared to attend alone. It’s so surprising that someone actually contacted you to return your phone that’s amazing! I never would’ve expected that but as women we all have to stand by each other including ex best friends and your ex’s new girlfriend.

    Like

    • Actually it was my ex’s wife and daughter who helped me! But the woman who returned my phone was a total stranger. It was very moving. Next time you want to go, try to get someone to share the experience with you.

      Like

  13. I really love how this March brought everyone together and women became as one to have a voice about something they believe in. Thats what I love about this country is that you’re able to stand up for what you believe in. Its so exciting that you got to be a part of it and watched history.

    Like

  14. I am glad you were able to change your mind and go to this march after all even with all those obstacles that were holding you back. It really shows how passionate you are for the woman not just in this country but around the entire globe and I truly respect that. You even have inspired to me to fight for what is right and not let those with power take advantage of us. We are the people!

    Like

  15. I live in a predominantly religious/conservative home, with only my younger brother and I being more liberal minded; I remember my parents watching Fox news that day and besides talking about the inauguration they would roll their eyes at the women’s march not knowing that I so badly had wanted to go. Now I regret not plucking up the courage and going in solidarity because you describe your experience as one so uplifting and encouraging! I will definitely cast any fear aside and go next year to be with such an amazing crowd of men and women for such an important cause.

    Like

  16. It’s crazy how we have just so many men even wanting to decide on issues that only affect women! Unfortunately I did not get to march with my sisters but I have protested for black lives matter and I agree it is exhausting but even when I was physically tired I had some type of adrenaline that distracted me. It’s great to see people involved. Hopefully I get to participate in the next one for women

    Like

  17. I think this march was amazing. Watching all these women come together and make history was unbelievable. It must have been so cool and fulfilling to experience this and be a part of history. I love this country for the very reason we can do things such as this to show and stand up for what we believe in.

    Like

  18. Its amazing how so many women and men came together mad all happen on that day. Sadly i wasn’t able to join since i was out of the country for that whole month. But i was still there in mind and in spirit . My body, my choice is a great motto to live up too. I’m so glad that you were still able to attend and was able to be part of something so historical.

    Like

  19. The fact that many people gathered together on a common ground for what they believe in is truly beautiful and inspiring. Reading this makes me realize that we can all be united as a society to fight for what we believe is right because we have a voice and it should be heard. I hope that I can be apart of this beautiful experience next time! Actions unite us!

    Like

  20. A detailed account of a historic event. Thank you for sharing your experience, Lynda. I wish that I could have marched alongside you and stood up for this important cause. There are always more opportunities, though. You are an inspiration.

    Like

  21. I actually participated in this walk as well but in San Francisco. The Women’s March was such an empowering movement and an experience that I will never forget. My friends and I made the best signs and enjoyed being a part of a walk that was worldwide. I felt so liberated walking with so many different women, even men, who believed in the power of women. Having a president who has talked down upon women is disappointing and months later still shocking but the Women’s March overpowered everyone.

    Like

  22. I think the Women’s March is such an amazing and historical event. It truly shows how much female empowerment we have. It is important that we all stand up for what we believe and what we feel is right and just.

    Like

  23. Isn’t it ridiculous that it is 2017 and men still think they have any right to our health and body rights? The women empowerment movement is beautiful. Women of all shapes and sizes come together to support and spread love to one another. Im so glad you were able to attend the march and now have an amazing experience to hold on to!

    Like

  24. Im so glad that you decided to attend the march. You were able to enjoy yourself and do a march many women and others believed in fighting for. It is great you were able to experience new things and exploring more then usual. I am very happy for you.

    Like

  25. This was a fantastic article to read. It is great to hear people like you participating in events like this one. There is still so much needed change in the world and I hope events like this will continue in future. Never stop fighting the good fight!

    Like

  26. think that these types of marches are amazing and I’m glad you were there
    to represent the rights of women! I’d love to participate in the next one
    if I can find one. Let’s give ’em hell!

    I also think it’s great that you included the little one in the
    preparations and explained the politics. It’s important that we help shape
    the next generation of leaders and getting them actively involved in
    politics is a great step forward.

    With that said, I don’t want to be like the conservative parent that
    actively works to instill his beliefs into his son. My views could
    ultimately be wrong. I want to instill a core set of beliefs like love,
    acceptance, and empathy so that he can come to his own conclusion. Recently
    he heard a stranger speak Spanish and exclaimed, “people that don’t speak
    English should come back to where they came from.” Needless to say his
    attitude changed when I pointed out his grandparents don’t speak perfect
    English. There’s a line and I don’t know where to cross it. I want him to
    be one of the men yelling, “it’s her rights!”

    Like

    • It sounds like you are taking a great approach to getting core values across. For me, not having kids, I don’t get that much opportunity. But this was such an opportunity, and she was genuinely asking the questions, not just getting it rammed down her throat. It was a fabulous march, and I was so glad that little girls (especially) got to see so many people standing up for them!

      Like

  27. I love it when professors get political! This is such a positive force in the world. I have a young daughter, and as a father it’s reassuring to see that she will have strong positive female rolemodels in the world that she grows up in. It’s admirable that you get to be that for the young woman in your life. Fight the good fight, Lynda!

    Like

    • Thank you! I think we should get political, because we usually have the education that makes for an informed, progressive society. Yes, our young girls need those role models. And they need strong, supportive males like you in their lives, too!

      Like

  28. I really enjoyed your article on the woman’s march. It gave me a happy feeling, however just the other day I heard that the last abortion clinic in Kentucky is going to be closed due to deficiencies in its licensing paperwork. It saddens me that the women in Kentucky will no longer have that right. I know its not uncommon in the bible belt, but it still is a loss to woman in the United States. I wanted to join the woman’s march, but I did not want to deal with the issues you brought up within your article like the lack of parking and traffic. I have been to a gay pride parade, but a woman’s march is definitely on my list.

    Like

    • I think there is going to be another Women’s March this January. And I took the train which made parking a non-issue. (Don’t know where you’d be coming from, but I got the Metro in Montclair and then just had one quick change at Union Station – could have walked it as well.) You do have to be prepared for crowds and that cell phone towers will be overwhelmed. Yes, I am saddened by the continued attacks on women’s reproductive rights. The people who would force a woman to bear a child don’t want to do anything to help her care for that child. It is a health issue for women – and for all of us as a nation – that women be able to control their fertility.

      Like

  29. Lynda, It’s amazing that you attended the woman’s march and making a difference with women’s right. Peacefully marching is always far more effective in spreading it’s message then a chaotic one.I’m glad that the women’s march in LA was able achieved that!

    Like

  30. I am so proud of you professor that you went to the women’s march even though you have back problems you STILL managed to attend! We need more women like you that inspire us women to stand up for what is right. P.S. I loved your poster!

    Like

  31. After reading this article I love the fact that thousands of people come together fighting or supporting for what they think is right. I believe that we are the most powerful together as a unit, and for doing so I agree for that March one hundred percent

    Like

  32. It is amazing that so many people participated in the Women’s March in the United States. I am so proud of women who call for equal rights in pay and health care, to denounce sexual harassment, and to encourage women to run for office. I heard people said that it was ridiculous that women were still fighting for equal rights in 2018, but if there aren’t many inequalities, why did hundrends of thousands of women gather to call for equal rights?

    Like

  33. I, too, participated in the march. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. It was incredible to see so many people coming together for women’s rights. I took the Goldline to LA, out train was completely full, every station had long lines of people, and no one could get on. I am so happy to have been a part of this HUGE movement. I loved every bit of it from reading all of the creative signs to the sense of power and importantance I gained during the March. I’m so glad that a fellow marcher did eveything she could to get you your phone back, too!

    Like

  34. I love the story of your phone! It makes me happy that women are there for each other. I am literally sitting in the living room while my mom is watching HSN calling some of the models “ugly,” and the host is telling the consumer that this is unattractive and that is unflattering. I am around so many women tearing each other down it is nice to see women bring each other up.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s