You could call it a convergence of America's nastiest pussies.
At the Women's March on Washington, it's a label that, judging by the thousands of pink pussy hats, pussy-themed signs, and "nasty woman" apparel, the staggering half a million estimated participants would firmly embrace.
Gloria Steinem, a co-chair of the march, said she has "never seen anything like this" in all her years of feminist activism. Young women and old women, moms and their daughters, dads and their sons, pregnant women and people in wheelchairs, and even a few pets descended on the intersections of 3rd and 4th Streets and Independence Avenue in our nation's capital to protest Donald Trump the day after his inauguration. They blanketed the lawn that hosted half as many people for his swearing-in yesterday. (Trump couldn't resist attempting to defend his grim turnout in an address to the CIA today where he lied about how many people were there.)
Chants of "This is what democracy looks like!" and "Not my president!" broke out throughout the day in what was a peaceful demonstration, where "excuse me" was commonly heard as participants navigated the massive crowds. Demonstrators proudly posed with their homemade signs for one another's cell phone photos. They readily complimented each other on sign ideas, such as "tiny hands, big loser" and "I can't believe I still have to protest this shit." A tissue paper vagina was praised as it made its way down the street. Even the Porta Potties, bearing stickers that read "The Trump Dumper: The Smell of Victory" and "The Trump Dumper: Golden Showers to the Chief, LLC" were fodder for unity, laughter, and strength. Yes, I can confirm that the Porta Potties at the Women's March were more effective at bringing people together than our new president's inaugural address, aka revisionist history of a failing, crumbling, and chaotic America that he believes needs his saving.
If anything could dispel Trump's imagined, grizzly version of America, it's the organized, peaceful, and delightfully hot pink Women's March protests that occurred in more than 600 cities around the world, drawing what is likely to end up being millions of demonstrators when the tally is complete. Drifting among the protesters today, instead of the "American carnage" Trump described, I saw women who were thrilled AF to be in one another's presence wearing matching pink pussy hats. Instead of a nation "disappeared over the horizon," I saw the determination of people who stayed up late drawing reproductive organs on posters instead of quietly letting the government begin its attempt to systematically roll back our reproductive freedom. Instead of "young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge," I saw young girls holding their parents' hands and wearing signs declaring that they "deserve and demand a better future."
Donald Trump's victory has lent a spotlight to the suffering and anger of Middle America's white working class voters. Liberals, Meryl Streep famously included, who are still stunned this happened, have been told they don’t understand the concerns of these people. Liberals are "elite," more concerned with our damn bathrooms than the socioeconomic advancement of out-of-work factory workers or coal miners, too fixated on political correctness that distracts from the real anguish of this nation.
But if there's one thing you can say about the marches that took place across the United States today, it's that the people who voted for Donald Trump may have gotten their way, their anger may have been given a bigger megaphone than they ever imagined it would receive, but they no longer seem like the loudest voices in the room. Their feelings are far from the only valid anger fomenting in this country right now. Because they're not the only ones who have failed to be fully heard or fully recognized in their suffering. Women, minorities, and the LGBTQ community have been fighting to be heard and recognized as societal equals for generations.
These marches happened today because people who care about women's rights and choices are angry. They are angry that a racist, sexist, pussy-grabbing xenophobe got into the White House by the luck of 80,000 votes being cast in certain counties in three states, when the most qualified woman to ever run for president received nearly 3 million more than him. They are angry enough to travel great distances to spend their weekend marching in the cold. They saw Trump's populist movement—and raised him an even bigger populist movement.
We've been doing this work for many decades and we can do it for many decades to come. The maybe good thing about Trump's election is that it has made us stronger, louder, and more visible than we have ever been before.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.