Womxn's March 2019

A loud knock at the door jolted me from my sleep. A wave of panic washed over me as I fumbled for my phone in the dark. It read 8:43 a.m. I had forgotten to set my alarm! As I jumped out of bed, a string of cuss words fell out of my mouth. I opened the door to three blearily eyed girls looking confused. The four of us were supposed to catch the 9:00 bus to Denver Union Station for the 2019 Womxn’s March. My still half-asleep roommate invited them in as I raced around with a toothbrush sticking out of my mouth, trying to gather food and find pants. I finally managed to pull it together in time to get to the bus stop two minutes before the Flat Iron Flyer pulled into the Broadway and Baseline stop.

On the bus, my friends and I had to separate due to the lack of open seats. I sat down in an aisle seat next to a young man praying to god I didn’t get carsick because I couldn’t look out the window. As I awkwardly tried to arrange myself and my large sign that read “If she was ‘asking for it’ why couldn’t you? #pussygrabsback”, he looked at me and asked, “what are you protestin’?” I explained to him that it was the annual Women’s March. The confused look on his face told me he had never heard of such thing, and inquired “Did something like happened to make you guys protest?” HA, yeah just the centuries of misogynistic cultural tendencies ingrained in society that tells women they aren’t equal to men, I thought. Instead, I just shrugged and said, “no it’s just for women’s rights in general.”

After a long, crowded bus ride and an uber stuck in traffic, the four of us finally made it to Civic Central Park. I was in awe of the vast crowd. Swimming in a sea of pink pussy hats, I scanned the crowd trying to read people’s signs. I noticed that there were people from every gender, and age but significantly less racial diversity. I remembered the way the second reading out of Women and Gender Studies textbook had struck me as if I was being hit by a revelation. The historical ‘white feminism’ was something I had never had to think about because I myself am white. The feminist movements of the 20th century were for me and about me but failed to recognize the vastly different experiences of LGBTQ+ and women of color in America. As I stood amongst the crowd, I wish there was a way to explain that I didn’t want to be a ‘white feminist’. I wanted to learn about intersectionality and the importance of other movements in compliment to the current one.

There was a mom directly to my right with two little boys around the age of 8 chanting ‘this is what democracy looks like’. I could only think about the impact this would have on the boys and that hopefully, they would one day grow up to respect and understand the complexities of this issue. A good portion of the signs around me was political in nature defaming the already infamous Trump name, calling him on his sexism, bigotry, and immaturity. I spotted a sign to my left a little way in front of me that had a cut-out of a narwhal and said, “Nah Wall”. A laugh bubbled out of me as I pointed it out to my friends. We admired its clever but simple humor to call out Trump's xenophobic policies.

As the crowd started moving through the square, I could feel the power and passion in the air. The energy of the masses was infectious, and it fed my mine like caffeine. Having stayed up relatively late the night before to make signs with my three friends, I had not nearly enough sleep to be as energized as I felt. The sleep deprivation did not hit me until the bus ride back to campus at about 1:00 pm. The march came to an end as we approached the square again, I was so impressed with the vast number of people who had participated, the diversity, and the cleverness of signs. Walking back to the bus stop, a wave of exhaustion hit me, and my stomach started to growl; but it didn’t matter, because I felt empowered.

All pictures were taken by me