Why did so many people march?

“Something’s happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear…”

                                                                                                     --Buffalo Springfield, 1966

I did not want to make this blog political. I did not want to have to spend my time fighting against undoing all that we’ve done. I did not, really.

But yesterday I and some friends carpooled to Asheville to join the march. I would have liked to have said this was a pro-women’s rights march, which is was. But it was also an anti-Trump march. And it was even so much more than that.

We arrived early on Pack Square, which was not yet packed. So we had an opportunity to wander about and look at everyone’s signs. “Viva la Vulva” was one standout. But the messages on the signs were all over the place, even within our small group of 13 women. They were for women’s rights. For LGBTQ rights. For the environment. For civil rights. For good health care. For planned parenthood. For equal pay for equal work. For immigrants. For love, not hate.

And then there were the anti-signs, a lot of which made me blush as they made me laugh. Quite a few references to Trump’s pussy remark. And what else would you expect from a crowd wearing pink pussy hats? At least the women were having fun with it, always a good thing. “Grab this pussy and I’ll scratch back.”

Was there one overall, unifying message? I couldn’t articulate it yesterday, but today I’d say we were fighting for social justice. For American values. (Okay, don’t make me come up with what they actually are.) A man asked to take our photo with our signs and we were happy to comply. Then he asked why we were there and we all answered differently.

But I do think there is a uniting fear—the greatest motivator of all—that we cannot allow our government to take us backward. To undo all the work that has been done to make life in this country equal for all races, genders, religions. To make life better with good health care and a clean environment. To bring out our better natures as the kind, compassionate people we really are.

Still, I wish I’d carried the sign I ultimately decided against because I thought it was too negative. It was, and is, what’s in my heart:

I can’t believe I still have to protest this shit.