The Woman’s Movement came back to life this week.
This week, in the aftermath of the Trump inauguration, we marched. Old women, young women, children, boys and men. We marched for civil rights and kindness. Wearing silly pink hats and carrying handmade signs, we gathered, listened to politicians and we slowly inched along.
We planned to march but there were too many of us to run a normal march.
I took the T to Park Street to join so many others on Boston Common. The land was full of very polite protestors who smiled because they could see they are not alone in this struggle.
Friends of mine were marching in Washington, DC. My Facebook page filled with people I know who gathered in other cities to mark the beginning of what is sure to be a difficult journey.
I remember the 1970s very well. In 1972 I served as the state coordinator for the National Organization for Women in Massachusetts. It was a title that was phased out a year or two later.
For me the path to feminism began because of a history professor at Stonehill who insisted I read Eleanor Flexnor’s book “Century of Struggle.” The was back in the 60s in days when I thought I wanted to marry, have children and become a housewife. My college professor opened my eyes.
And while I eventually became a mother, I thought I had a right to juggle a career as long as my two children were safe. But I gave up political action in the years I was a young mother. After all, it seemed the political struggle had been won.
And there were so many other priorities. At least it seemed there were.
Kindness was missing from that long ago movement. Those of us working on strategies were angry about a world where men and women were not treated as equals.
When I boarded the train to Boston – a train that was standing room only before reaching my stop – a woman in her thirties offered me her seat. I smiled and turned it down but the thought of her kindness brightened my day.
Despite the crowds on Boston Common, people didn’t push to get ahead. The placard I liked best was ultimately creative. It said, “Love trumps hate.”
The Boston Women’s March, and so many other marches, gathered for the same reason. We want to make the world a better, kinder, place filled with justice and love.
An Episcopal priest taught me a simple hymn that sums it all up. We are marching in the light of God. Actually I understand it is a Zulu hymn that has been reworked with a Christian theme. It gathers up all the hope and determination of a righteous movement.