The Women’s March on D.C.
I’m sure most people have (at some point), sat in a history class learning of some terrible event or period from the past, and thought to themselves, “If I lived in that time, I know I would’ve fought alongside ____, standing up against ____!”
This was my chance!
To be a part of something much, much greater than myself…to take a stand in a moment that may go down in history as one of the key moments in the fight for gender parity.
The experience of the event itself was a lot less romantic, to say the least. I have never felt more crowded, trapped, claustrophobic, sweaty and freezing (simultaneously – it’s a thing, I promise) in my life. Far more people turned out for the march than expected, leading to hours where I literally could not move an inch (without fierce meows from pink kittens, of course). Because of this massive turnout, the crowd soon become restless to move, while the march planners were determined to kept their initial agenda.
Although the ‘physical’ part of the experience was pretty goddamn miserable, the over-arching mission(s) never wavered, at least through my eyes. The strength, beauty, and hope that blanketed the march, surely were most palpable for different people in different ways; for some, the sheer number of marchers (and statistics to result) may have been the most moving and encouraging. For others, perhaps it was seeing their favorite musician delivering a kick-ass speech on stage, or seeing brothers, sons, fathers, and grandfathers, marching proudly alongside the gender to which they owe their day-to-day existence. Kidding! (…kinda)
For me, it was the art.
I am no artist. In fact, I pretty much failed my piece at one of those wine + follow-along paint places (something they guarantee is impossible to do!). However, I’ve always held a deep appreciation of art and the power it possesses. In a moment where the noise of the marchers was supposed to match – if not exceed – the endless noise created by Trump and the media that has surrounded him; it was the posters, pins, clothing, photos, and banners, that – to me – conveyed the loudest voice. Through these pieces done by both artists and ‘non-artists’ alike, the individual and collective were represented; individual interests and passions, representing collective issues and/or groups of people and, ultimately, the collective cry of all participants for change.
Expectation and reality rarely align. However, the perception of each does often influence the experience of the other. Even though the Women’s March was extremely different from my original expectations, my perception of the event by way of art, made the reality – the truth – all the more meaningful. Ultimately, I was left with something I think may be more constructive and more powerful than expectation; hope. Hope that the reality of the future, will meet the expectations expressed through the art of the people.