Big chill…big roar.


The Judiciary Square Metro Station in Washington D.C. roared with the weight of subways packed full with women and men, teens and children, even babies and toddlers carried in their parents’ arms, carriers, strollers. The station roared with voices each time a subway delivered another nine or ten cars of people, cheering each other as the evidence poured out of the doors that many thousands were making their way to the Women’s March on January 21st, 2017. They raised their voices, they raised their signs, they raised their fists, they raised peace signs at each other through the windows of the subway cars as they flashed by filled with people of all genders and ages wearing pink pussy caps.


Pink caps and pussy cat ears flashing by on the Washington DC Metro on January 21, 2017.

They poured out of the subway car doors and crowded close as they shuffled inch by inch toward the escalators up to the street, sharing jokes, bottled water, news, maps, directions, destinations, tips on where to find restrooms, food, and drink out in the streets. They shared their points of origin: Houston, Savannah, New Orleans, Buffalo, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh – place names from all over the nation flew back and forth.

They were ready to roar through the streets for the sake of their mothers, daughters, fathers, sons, sisters, brothers, friends, coworkers, immigrants and refugees, trans and bi and gay and cis and queer, black and white and brown and yellow. They were ready to roar in wheelchairs and on crutches and from each other’s shoulders. They would overcome; they would not be moved; they would not be pushed around or bullied into laying down, or giving up, or keeping quiet. These marchers might have been chilly but they would not be chilled.

I thought of Myrtle and Mabel back in Pittsburgh, bundled up in their robes and fuzzy slippers, standing their ground in their own homes, two old women together refusing to be quiet in the face of icy windows and threats of eviction. Neither of them would likely be caught dead in a pussy cap, but they are also marching together in stubbornness and solidarity.

Hear them roar.



About helengerhardt1

Helen Gerhardt: Pittsburgher, writer, member of the Commission on Human Relations: nothing written at this blog reflects the views or positions of the Commission.

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