The Women’s March—Two Perspectives from Quixote Center Women

By: Dolly P.

At 75 years old, I’ve been around a few blocks more than a few times, with signs held aloft. The White House. The Pentagon. The Capitol. The Catholic bishops’ headquarters. The Vatican Ambassador’s place. The Vatican. The DC Republican headquarters. And so on.

After 40 years of pounding the pavements, I am rather jaded. When I first heard of a Women’s March on DC scheduled for January 21, 2017, I had a “ho-hum” reaction. I pledged to be there, of course, to add another body at a time when numbers mattered. But I wasn’t excited. Then…

As the time approached, it dawned on me exactly how important this event would be. The Quixote Center delegation would meet at a certain spot. We would march, waving the Quixote banner. Together.

From the moment my friends and I boarded an already too-full Metro train, the spirit of the day elated me. No matter that the Metro ride and getting out of the station took 1.5 hours. We were chanting in the underground and waving our signs, wearing our pink hats. Once outside, all we could see were rivers of people moving from all sides, up and down and around. Forget meeting up with anyone. It didn’t matter. Being in the midst of hundreds of thousands of people was enough. We were all friends. Solidarity unfolded, and we were a united community,

Ready to struggle, to persist, for the next four years. Together. I’ll be 79 by then.

By: Mfon E.

The Women’s March on Washington was definitely an experience. I moved to the DC area in 2015, and in my longing to learn more about the culture, I knew I needed to immerse myself in the life of the nation’s capital.  I soon learned that a big cultural component of living here is activism; it isn’t enough just to protest injustice on social media, you need to show up in person and be present.

So my Saturday morning, the day after 45’s inauguration, began with me flowing with a sea of people, mostly women, who decided to come out from behind their computer screens to fight in person. We filled up the streets of downtown DC to express our need for change, our love for equality, our right to the pursuit of happiness, and our unwavering dedication to fight any policy by the current administration that hinders the progress we have made as a country toward gender equality.

The camaraderie was truly amazing, but there were times when the march was overwhelming because of the number of people that were present. It was definitely a sight to see!  We bonded, a half a million of us, as we listened to speeches, laughed at funny signs, chanted, walked, and talked to fellow marchers. We seemed invincible!  So it was terribly disappointing to see just days later that Republicans in Congress were still planning to defund Planned Parenthood. I had to ask myself, “What was this all for if change isn’t occurring now?”

When I reflected on my weekend the following week, I realized the following things. First, I hit the jackpot of political protest for this generation; to this day the number of people at the march still blows my mind. Secondly, this protest was an enormous rallying cry for choice, equality, and respect for all that will definitely go into the history books. Lastly and most importantly, the march was just the beginning of the fight. So although change didn’t occur immediately, the Women’s March was truly an empowering event that caused me to see how the need for change can be ignited with one voice and many helping hands—and feet! Keep marching, everyone.

Were you at the Women’s March on January 21, 2017?  What were your experiences?  What role do you see in the future for women to create change in American society?  Please share your thoughts in the Comments section, below.