Monday, April 26, 2004

Were you at the March?

This weekend was absolutely wonderful. I was one of the million+ who attended the March for Women's Lives. [The numbers are in dispute. For example, The Chicago Tribune has chosen to report the conservative estimates of the event, saying that there were 500,000-800,000 marchers. If one compares photos of this march with photos of the Million Man March, which had 800,000 marchers, the March for Women's Lives is noticably larger.]

The March for Women's Lives

The Million Man March

When my mom, sister and I arrived at the mall at around 11, we proceeded to walk west towards where the speakers were, and it was incredible: There was no end to the amount of people. If one looked down on us from above, we would have appeared a sea of pink, purple, and yellow (the three main colors of the signs). Many of the organizations who were at the march had made signs. Most prominent were the Planned Parenthood, NOW, and Ms. Magazine signs. There were many other creative homemade signs and other great sights, like the giant set of mock ovaries that some people were holding. My mom made several, one that said "Democracy not Theocracy," and she got many requests to be in pictures with the sign.

About halfway down the mall, my mom and sister and I rested for a bit and I found a sign that said Students for Planned Parenthood, which I liked and decided to use. A bit later, once we had begun walking, I found a Free Martha sign which I also picked up. That sign was the source of many comments.

We started marching, and it really went by pretty quickly. There was a small amount of anti-choice protestors who periodically stood at the outside of the march's boundaries holding up horrid signs that were incredibly exploitative. One family even had a poster hanging above their child, using him in their protest. Everyone was pretty astounded and angry by the way they were exploiting their baby.

Still, the anti-choice marchers were really a blink compared to the incredible showing that we had. We marched past the White House, though we were not able to get very close to it, symbolizing the anti-democratic attitude of the current administration.

The march has been reported as being for the abortion cause, but it was very underplayed that us women who marched support access to contraceptives and Planned Parenthood, which lowers the need to make the abortion choice. On the other hand, the anti-choice protestors are against both (some at the march were against oral contraceptives!!), and access denied of course leads to a greater number of pregnancies.

We finised up back at the mall where people such as Susan Sarandon, Whoopi Goldberg, Gloria Steinem, Gloria Feldt, Hillary Clinton, and so on spoke. I should also say that like the women of all ages and races who were there, there were men of all ages and races there, and they were great. Some were wearing t-shirts that said "This is what a feminist looks like." It was all very phenomenal.

There not too many things that I will use the word "amazing" to describe because I think that the word has become trivialized by overuse among people of my generation, but this march was definitely one of the most amazing things I have partaken in in my life. I would do it a hundred times more!

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