In 1986 I did the March for Women’s Lives here in LA, well actually in Culver City. It was the biggest protest March I’ve ever done outside of a Gay Pride parade. It was on March 16 a week after a huge one in DC. They say there were 30,000 people there. I think there were more. It’s was allegedly the largest march at that time in LA since 1968.
It was amazing to be with so many like-minded women. It wasn’t easy because it was pouring rain and there was lightning and thunder and I’m terrified of both since I had been struck by lightning a few years before. My friends had to do a whole lot of talking to get me out of the car. Everyone was supposed to wear white. In a very short amount of time it looked like the world’s largest wet tshirt contest. We were soaked to the skin but somehow joyous.
We marched and on one street it was lined with men holding bloody baby dolls and calling us murderers. They’d put out cribs and were dressed in white medical coats and were almost black faced their faces were so darkened with anger. You know that dark red men get when they are furious? Some were dressed as ministers and priests and were shaking Bibles at us. I kept thinking, how on earth do men get a say in what I do with my body?
I was walking with my friends, mostly lesbians, Girl Scouts and Pagans (some of us were all of the above) and I was very glad I was in a large group. Cocooned in that large group of women was the most comforting thing when faced with all that hate. There was a lot of joy in marching like that even though it was horribly uncomfortable and we were starting to shiver pretty badly by the time we got back to our car.
I remember listening to the speeches by women like Jane Fonda and being ready to go into battle at any moment. I remember thinking these women could do anything right then.
We have to do it all again. We’re still fighting for our human rights. We’re still fighting for the rights to control and define what a woman’s body is. That should not be. Lesbians still fighting to be seen and listened to. We never passed the ERA and maybe it’s time to resurrect that again.
So Saturday, I’m walking again and it’s supposed to be the only sunny day this week. I’m wearing black this time. I haven’t decided whether to wear a gay pride shirt or a goddess shirt or split the difference and wear the goddess tshirt and my gay pride hat from work especially since it’s from a healthcare company and we need to save ACA. I don’t have a pussy hat and I’m the world’s worst knitter. I failed knitting in the class we took in 7th grade Camp Fire Girls at Sears. So a baseball cap it will be.
I’m marching with my camera so I will post pictures, So far 70,000 people have registered and another 70,000 are “interested”.
I’m walking. 30 + years later. I think this time it will be with a cup of Starbucks hot tea in my hand, I’m older and I want my comforts too. I’m also taking my tactical flashlight and my medications and other things in case all hell breaks loose.
But I’m walking.