Signs of the Times — the Women’s Marches

Signs of the Times — the Women’s Marches

(lovingly dedicated to Jill & Lauren, two of my fierce heroes)

    Women are fed up with men’s bullshit, which goes all the way back to the Old Testament, at least. They’re tired of male privilege, tired of having Republicans looking up their skirts (because they’re still searching for a clue), tired of the patriarchal rape culture. So when a disgusting pig and unregistered, admitted sex predator was elected president, perhaps a suitable response was inevitable (except the 42% who voted for him). Hell hath no fury like 150 million women scorned. The Woman’s March on Washington took place Jan. 21, 2017, the day after der Gropenfuhrer was inaugurated. Other cities took up the call; about 600 women’s marches worldwide, from Alaska to Antarctica (!). I watched all day, marveling at the seemingly endless variety of terrific signs. And unlike the Tea Party rallies, no spelling errors! It’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words, but sometimes a few well-chosen words speak volumes. But enough of my rambling; the women speak for themselves. Caution: adult language and themes.
    I thought “It’s day one and I’ve had enough” set the general tone nicely.
    “My arms are tired from holding this sign since the 1960s” provided historical perspective.
    A little girl had a sign: “Trump is a Racist Sexist Dicktator,” and on the line below, “Mom says my spelling is fine.”
    There was a sign with a picture of actress Meryl Streep: “What she said.”
    A large circular sign was in embroidery: “I’m so angry I stitched this just so I could stab something 3000 times.”
    “Now you’ve pissed off Grandma!”
    “I can’t believe I still have to protest this shit!”
    “Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.”
    “Tiny hands YUUUGE ASSHOLE!”
    “Grab ‘em by the patriarchy”
    “We shall overcomb!”
    “I know signs. I make the best signs. They’re terrific. The best. Everyone agrees.”
    “So many issues — not enough sign”
    “Girls just want to have fun-damental rights”
    “If men could get pregnant abortion would be a sacrament”
    “Let my people go — to Planned Parenthood”
    “Leave it to the beavers”
    “Orange lies matter”
    “I wish my uterus shot bullets so the government wouldn’t regulate it”
    “Make America think again”
    “Donald J. Trump will lie about this”
    There were several drawings of the female reproductive system. One caption was “Shed walls don’t build them” and another, “This machine kills fascists,” echoing the famous line by Woody Guthrie about his guitar. Still another simply said “Hands off.” One had no caption, just a fallopian tube and ovary turned upwards to form the one-finger salute.
    “Feminazis against real Nazis”
    “Twitler”
    “Resistance is fertile”
    “No country for dirty old men”
    “Tweet women with respect”
    “Melania, are you alright? Blink twice for yes”
    “This beaver gives a DAM about reproductive rights”
    Two versions of this one: “Super callous fragile ego Trump you are atrocious” and “Super Callous Fascist Racist Extra Braggadocious!”
    “Don’t call Trump a huge pussy. He lacks the depth and warmth”
    It wasn’t just women’s issues, either: A woman held up a sign with Arabic writing. Beneath it were the words: “Misogyny kills.” A young Middle-Eastern man, looking like maybe a student, had a sign: “My Muslim registry is with Macy’s and Bed, Bath and Beyond” and an elderly Asian woman in a wheelchair held hers up: “Locked up by US Prez. Never again!” A man had a weekly calendar: “Mon- be gay, Tue – Tacos, Wed – be gay, Thu – be gay, Fri – be gay, Sat – be gay, Sun – be gay” and called it “The Gay Agenda.” Another woman’s sign: “My great grandmother didn’t escape Warsaw for this!”
    “We are the granddaughters of the witches you weren’t able to burn!”
    “If you take away my birth control I’ll just make more feminists”
    “We were served a LEMON but will make lemonade,” showing hands upraised, each squeezing a lemon.
    “Tinkle, tinkle, little czar, Putin put you where you are”
    “Orange is NOT the new Barack”
    “I’ve seen smarter cabinets at IKEA”
    “Is this fake news?”
    With a picture of the White House: “Sex offenders cannot live in government housing”
    There was a poster of the Statue of Liberty being groped by Trump. Another of Lady Liberty said: “I’m with her”
    “Hell yes we’re Ovary-Acting!” was brilliant.
    “A woman’s place is in the RESISTANCE” with photo of Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia.
    Photos of Paul Ryan, Trump, and Mike Pence with caption: “Doctors agree that douches are bad for women’s health”
    An evolution diagram, left to right: A standing Lincoln, a crouching Nixon, and Trump crawling on all fours.
    “If I make my uterus a corporation, will you stop regulating it?”
    “I did not come from your rib. You came from my vagina”
    “Think outside of my box”
    “No more coat hangers!”
    “Women’s rights are not up for grabs”
    “Keep your theology out of my biology”
    A sign with the GOP elephant: “We need to talk about the elephant in the womb.”
    A woman wearing a Trump scarf yelled out of a car window, “If you all had jobs, you wouldn’t be out here doing this mess,” and a woman walking by said, “Bitch — it’s Saturday!” The D.C. march drew half a million. That’s roughly twice the size of Trump’s inauguration crowd, but size doesn’t matter, does it Donald? There was a terrific lineup of speakers and music, and not a single arrest. This idea was birthed (because women are the givers of life) election night by a grandmother in Hawaii, who posted on her Facebook page that women should march in Washington on or near the inauguration. Like a stone thrown into a pool, the ripples spread, it went viral, and soon state chapters went up. The rest is now U.S. history. I found myself wondering how many times “The Vagina Monologues” were performed.
    I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the pussy hats. Pink, knit, with cat’s ears. That idea was born Thanksgiving weekend, and was another stone thrown into another pool. It was in part a response to that part of the anatomy the Lyin’ King bragged about grabbing. People around the country made them, and a social media platform, Ravely, is offering free downloads of the pattern. They’re also available for sale on etsy.com in a great variety of styles and prices. I’m thinking of getting one.
    There were the usual comments by the more neolithic males. John Carman, a NJ government official, tweeted: “Just asking, will the women’s march end in time for them to cook dinner?” IN State Senator Jack Sandlin tweeted: “In one day, Trump got more fat women out walking than Michelle Obama did in 8 years.” Ironically, responses like these only prove the necessity of this resistance. For me, the sign with a quote by Dr. Angela Davis summed it up: “I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.”

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