Women's March - Philly

@saragladney was one of the first people I came across as I approached Ben Franklin Parkway. She writes in her twitter profile's about section: "MS Instructional Tech SJU '17, Dual Citizen Canada USA, @RTARyerson, video, #GoogleEdu, Apple fan , #edtech#Minecraft teacher, adventurer, foodie." 

This quote is from the journalist and activist Shaun King. Senior justice writer for the New York Daily News, King rose to prominence on the national stage as an advocate for the Black Lives Matter movement and writing on justice issues, specifically those impacting the African-American community. This would not be the only sign at the march connected to the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Crossing the parkway, another sign caught my attention. I have no idea if she went to catholic school, but I did. A visual of rosaries crossed out and a picture of ovaries may not have made the point. But this sign recalls a narrative thread in history, a narrative of struggle between women who fight for reproductive rights and a specific and powerful religious group that has attempted to maintain control over those rights/bodies. 

The color is a bit washed out. However, you can still see a tiny rainbow flag just below the flower attached to his sign. Hope grows above the sadness? Beauty flourishes above sadness? Or maybe that's where things like flowers and rainbow flags go on a marcher's sign. Between intervals of smiling and laughing with his friends and returning to a somber pose, I interrupted him for a picture. I didn't question any of the attendees. I thought it was important to experience their posture, mannerism, gestures, and of course signs. 

Quick note: The hollow use of the expression "Sad!" by Donald went by me until hours later. 

Orange is the New Black is a Netflix show based on a memoir of a similar name by Piper Kerman. The quote is a play on the show's title from Barack Obama, as he was mocking the Republican's presidential nominee choice on The Tonight Show. The woman stood with friends on the grassy area to the side of the main crowd watching the stage. Other attendees complimented her sign. 

A lot of friends on social media commented that the sign on the right summed up their frustrations. It's a sign I've seen before in one variation or another. The two women did not move from their spot. A lot of signs reduced Trump to a caricature of a human or a silly, ineffectual cartoon. 

After the picture she promptly told me, "If it's not intersectional feminism, then it's not feminism." From what I could gather at the march, it appeared to be intersectional. It's difficult to tell a person's class or self-identifying pronouns in a crowd, but multiple views were represented in signs and in the speakers' topics. Later in the day, I heard the young woman repeating what she had said to me to another person taking her picture. 

I didn't ask the person holding this sign his/her/their intention when creating it. It did, however, remind me of the Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot. The last time I watched a protest by Pussy Riot was their performance during the Sochi Olympics

Conservative in design and message, the MAGA slogan is an easy target for wordplay. I always felt this campaign poster was very effective. It reminds Americans of another era, maybe one they still pine for or one they dread is returning. It was obviously deliberate in replicating the toned-down and simple designs of lawn campaign signs for Ike & Nixon. 

The individual was on their knees while the crowd formed a circle around the area where the prisoner knelt. I was just as surprised as the people surrounding the area. Many took pictures and nobody engaged the performer. After a bit of time the prisoner stood up and moved to another section of the march, staying within the main body of attendees in front of the stage. Shackles and hood were never removed for mobility's sake. One person commented, "Maybe we can help free him. Is that what we're suppsoed to do?" 


Millennial women were a topic of discussion during the 2016 presidential campaign, especially during the home stretch. It was often noted in the media that Hillary couldn't "solve her millennial women problem." This is the only reference to Bernie I saw around Eakins Oval, where the march gathered to listen to the speakers. 

As I walked away, she must've received at least 3 compliments on her pants that I could hear. Vaginas, vulvae, and other female body parts made their appearances on signs with varying levels of detail. 


A half mile down from the main stage, people gathered to watch and listen to speakers on jumbotrons. 

From the speakers on stage to the marchers in the streets, the topic of intersectionality was represented by the words and images presented in speeches and signs. 

Yes, let's not. 

If pro-intersectionalism was one topic found among the signs marchers carried, pro-science was another prominently featured. Support for scientific knowledge and understanding was often coupled with a pro-choice and pro-Planned Parenthood stand. 

He was standing alone when I approached him. I love that his sign is simple in its design. It takes the tool of simplicity, used effectively by the Trump campaign, and turns it around. Too often demonstrations/marches/protests, exercises of free speech, are demonized as anti-American. 

Standing next to the Washington Monument at Eakins Oval, this gentleman posed for pictures during the main event. On the other side of the sign it read "Trump & Putin" and a mention of marriage. While I was near him, I didn't notice any reactions to the language on the sign in the current context. Context being, you're in the middle of a Women's March. 

The witch as rebel of the patriarchy, free thinker, and fearless woman. A symbol that cannot be killed, will not be killed, and surrounds you in spirit with or without your knowledge. The power of patriarchy by way of destroying what it does not understand and maintaining control by being a destructive force rather than a productive and accepting force is challenged by the witch. If the cowboy outlaw came to represent a masculine ideal of living free of systemic constraints, then for some feminists the witch has taken on similar meaning. The message is a reminder that alternate narratives and oppressed views persist and thrive outside normal patriarchal modes of communication. Well, at least, that's some of what I see. 




His shirt reads, "The Future is Female." You can read about the t-shirt here

A dossier that alleged "the Russians" had a tape of Donald receiving golden showers from paid sex workers was reported by Buzzfeed. This couple was standing together just off to the side on the grassy area near the stage. After taking the picture I told her I appreciated the color scheme. 

I'm just gonna leave this one right here.