Here in Philadelphia, on Saturday, January 21, a day after Donald J. Trump was sworn in as POTUS45, Women’s March participants peacefully made their way up the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to a rally held at Eakins Oval, and the iconic steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art where people gathered. This was one of hundreds of protest marches around the world, sparked by comments made by DT about “grabbing them by the pu$$y.”
News reports estimated that 50,000 people from around the region came out to march. I saw all kinds of handmade signs affirming the status of women and other marginalized groups in America, and others protesting the new Trump/Pence administration. Women (and men) were wearing all forms of “pu$$y” knitted hats, shirts and other attire poking fun at Trump and his asinine comments about women and their appearance, his overinflated sense of entitlement and his erratic unstable personality.
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t going to go, and I was honestly up in my feelings for a minute, because I believe that marching as a response to what someone said, versus what’s being DONE systemically to groups of marginalized people, seems a bit selfish and shortsighted. A lot has happened throughout the history of this country – violent acts against people of color, immigrants, members of the LGBTQ community – and no one bothered to mobilize to this degree for them. But a friend told me yesterday that this show of solidarity definitely beats a blank, and I have to say I agree with her. Better now, than never. I hope this leads to more concrete action on the part of the demographic represented yesterday. We shall see.
So yesterday morning, I had to psych myself up and remind myself that my presence in spaces like this is revolutionary and disruptive and that (white) people need to see people who look like me to remind them that their concerns are mine and that my concerns need to be theirs in order for all of us to progress and evolve. I told myself that I was marching on behalf of black and brown women who have lost their lives to police violence since that has been my focus via the #RacismIsASickness project over the last year and a half, and fuck it, it needs to be done. After all that self-talk, I put my clothes on, grabbed my camera and headed into the city.
I’m glad I pushed myself to go, and I’m pretty happy with the work that I did. Check out the entire photo set on my Flickr page, and leave a comment!