The Stories of Our Signs

All quotations are taken from actual signs at the NYC Women’s March.

Yvette Wohn / Creative Commons

On a beautiful, sunny Saturday in January, I found myself amidst tens of thousands of people on Central Park West marching for women’s rights. We had all somehow managed to survive a politically devastating and emotionally exhausting year and now had hit the streets to demonstrate our discontent and outrage.

Things are so bad even the introverts are here.

The revelations about Harvey Weinstein and so very many other men in the entertainment, political and journalism professions have focused a glaring spotlight on the pervasive sexual harassment and sexual abuse women have suffered—mostly in silence—for so long. The accusations have come from the bottom of the economic ladder all the way up to the very top—the President!

No government housing for sex offenders (superimposed on a picture of the White House)

The silent outrage women have felt for oh, so long is finally gaining voice and gaining volume. Women’s stories of pervasive sexual harassment and abuse are beginning to be believed and are beginning to be dealt with seriously. Women are gaining courage to speak their truth from the courage of other women.

Here’s to strong women

May we know them

May we be them

May we raise them

The momentum for systemic change is building—not just in the U.S. but all over the world. There were more than two hundred and sixty marches globally!

This is not a moment
This is a movement

Women are rising up! They are fed up with being second class citizens—receiving lower wages than men for the same work, being subjected to sexual harassment and abuse, being woefully under represented in political office and positions of power and having men make decisions about their bodies.

 We are not ovary-acting

Being at the march was empowering and uplifting. There were people of all ages, many of whom were girls and women in their twenties and thirties. Middle aged and older women were also out in large numbers. It was encouraging to see a lot of men as well, lending support to the women in their lives and to this just cause.

Girls with dreams

Become women with vision

The winds of change are definitely in the air. I believe we have reached a dramatic tipping point.

Respect my existence

Or expect my resistance

The discussion of women’s rights has gained strength and urgency and a stronger sense of determination. There’s no turning back! Now women must turn this enthusiasm and new sense of strength into action.

They must take the next step and become a force at the polls in every election. They must vote! And run for office themselves. They must bring about the change they envision—no more standing passively in the shadows.

It’s time to leave 2017 behind—and to move from feelings of helplessness, depression and overwhelm into action.

Scared and angry and HOPEFUL

It’s time for our

rEVOLution

The time is now! Onward to victory.

Ann Kaslow is retired educator whose career spanned more than 30 years. She earned a BA in Comparative Literature from Brooklyn College, an MA in Education from University of Denver and a PhD in Teaching Reading from Fordham University. She devotes her energy to creative pursuits, family and friends and doing what she can to make the world a better place.

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Comments

  1. Matt Kaslow says:

    Well done!

    • I applaud you Ann for your clear and strong explanations/reactions to the plethora of witty and powerful signs displayed at the Women’s March! Keep your writing coming, and to all the clever and ironic authors of the signs, keep coming up with new ones until their desired effect transpires-more women in “power”, and someone in the White House who represents us! Thank You Ann!

  2. Jan Stipanov says:

    Informational and truly moving!
    Perfect article to get an idea of the situation of the woman in our society and where she is going.

  3. Very unique, comprehensive and interesting.

  4. Michelle Des Roches says:

    Thank you Ann for your eloquent summary of how so many of us feel. After so many years of just putting up with so many things in order to become as successful as possible in the world as it existed, there is a new hope that we may finally impact that world. With the voices speaking out here, along with those of other current movements, such as Black Lives Matter, protests at airports to protect immigrants from deportation and more recent inspirational organizing by our young people to challenge the establishment’s gun control laws (or lack thereof), I am hopeful that we, the real people, will one day soon, create a new world where the dignity, the value and the humanity of all people is recognized, appreciated and cultivated. We must continue to raise our expectations and our voices for a fair, just and safe society, where we all can thrive.

  5. Mary Brown says:

    Of the many things that the Media might have said about the Women’s March; I thank God for this piece, so heartfelt & passionately pinned. AWESOME!!!

  6. Rachel Wyatt says:

    This article made me feel more hopeful! By juxtaposing the words displayed by the marchers with her own responses, Ms Kaslow harnesses the power that the march had; reminding us how many out there are organizing to mount real resistance to both long-standing sexism and the very great political crisis our country now is in.

  7. Gail Brown says:

    Well done Ann. Your article does a wonderful job of presenting the positive and powerful feelings so many of us experienced being involved with the Women’s March. And now that hope continues seeing the amazing young people promoting control.

  8. Marc Rentzer says:

    Inspiring! How much longer will we have to march?: For as long as necessary. Go Ann!

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