BY KIMBERLY MAYER
In a circuitous route by way of Seattle, Boston and Rochester, New York, I made my way to Washington DC last weekend for The March. So if I was in the air for the Inauguration ceremony, I considered that a good thing. Well above the clouds, all I could think at that moment was “not my president.”
Alas, I had to land.
I was not the only one to arrive exclaiming about a “planeload of women.” Whether by air, bus, train, or car, we all had that experience. By the hundreds of thousands, indeed millions, we poured into the city for The Women’s March on Washington. And on Saturday our March would dwarf Friday’s Inaugural event down the same Pennsylvania Avenue for The Emperor Who Has No Clothes.
This is a story that can be told in garments. The army of women who poured into DC could be called The Comfortable Shoe Crowd. Dressed in jeans, parkas, and fleece, wearing running shoes or hiking boots, we had miles to go and mileage on our minds. From grandmothers to little girls, many donned pink knit “pussy hats.”
At the intersection of Inaugural Ball attendees and this army of women entering town on Friday evening, it looked just like what it was: a coup d’etat. I saw it in the outfits on the sidewalks, crosswalks, and in our restaurant. It was like Dior and Jessica McClintock meet Eddie Bauer and North Face.
Couples dressed to the nine’s, the women barely able to walk in stilettos and long lean gowns with slits, and tuxedoed men weaving and rolling about like a penguins on ice. They were far and few, whereas the women coming in for The March traveled in packs and were numerous. And from what I saw, all the camaraderie too was on our side.
DC was packed, as was the fabulous Greek/Mediterranean restaurant Zaytinya. Fortunately we had reservations, occupying large round tables, sharing multiple small plates and wine with a great deal of noise and merriment. Among us in the restaurant were occasional couples at tables for two dressed for the Ball. But it was as if they had lost, for every time a pink pussy hatted client walked through the room, the crowd broke out in cheer.
They may have won the election, but the evening was counterintuitive. And the next day with The March on Washington, as well as all the marches that marched in solidarity around the country and the globe. And we will keep on marching until everyone sees it and shouts, “But the Emperor has no clothes.”