Some thoughts from the #WomensMarch in Chicago today

chicagomarch1) Glad I wore comfy shoes.

2) An overwhelmingly large number of people. We stood by the Van Buren Paris Metro entrance for about twenty minutes, and watched a never-ending stream of folks go past us. Pretty impressive.

3) Not my kids’ first protest march.

4) Vast majority of folks we saw were white. More intersectionality, more inclusivity, more diversity would be awesome.

5) I love that the Left organizes to get out and march. I wish they would organize to get out and vote. For once.

6) I spent fifty cents on a copy of Workers Vanguard because I think it’s cute the Spartacist League is still out there chugging along.

7) I saw two signs that read “Keep Your Rosaries Off My Ovaries.” I happened to have a rosary in my pocket, because I always have a rosary in my pocket. So I get that Catholics make an easy target at times like this, but the simplification/demonization schtick is disheartening. We’re out there marching with you – but as an unwelcome other. This raises another intersectionality issue: Is the feminist Left willing to build coalitions with pro-life leftists like me? The straw-poll answer seems to be, “not yet.” I hope there is space for dialogue around this.

8) Corollary to #7: As folks passed by, chanting slogans, my daughter asked, “Papa, when people are shouting, can we shout what they are shouting?” I told her we can’t shout all the things that are being shouted, because as Catholics we don’t agree with all the things that are being shouted. But we agree with a lot of the things, and we should shout those. Do with that what you will.

9) As a person with PTSD, I stayed in the body of the march as long as I could. I will say – without a doubt – that was the most polite and accommodating mass of thousands of people I have ever been in. When we needed to split for the edge, we got no grumbles, and the escape did not take very long. Thank you, Chicago protesters.

10) Just to put a bright line under it – after thirty years as a leftist and over a decade as a Catholic, I truly feel I belong nowhere. I am glad we went to the march, but I know we were not fully welcome – or welcomed – there. But this was more my place than anywhere else in this political moment, so I was in solidarity as I was able.

It was a beautiful day, and a lot of lovely people for miles and miles and miles.

Leave a comment