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    Remarks From the Women’s March on Washington – January 21, 2017

    Remarks Presented by Gloria Steinem

    Gloria SteinemFriends, sisters and brothers, all of you who are before me today and in 370 marches in every state in this country and on six continents and those who will be communing with us in one at 1 [pm] in a silent minute for equality in offices, in kitchens, in factories, in prisons, all over the world. I thank each of you, and I especially want to thank the hardworking visionary organizers of this women-led, inclusive march, one of whom managed to give birth while she was organizing this march. Who else can say that?

    Thank you for understanding that sometimes we must put our bodies where our beliefs are. Sometimes pressing send is not enough. And this also unifies us with the many in this world who do not have computers or electricity or literacy, but do have the same hopes and the same dreams.

    I think that because I and my beloved co-chairs, the golden oldies, right? Harry Belafonte, Dolores Huerta, LaDonna Harris … all these great people, we may be the oldest marchers here today, so I’ve been thinking about the uses of a long life, and one of them is you remember when things were worse.

    We remember the death of the future, with Martin Luther King, with Jack Kennedy, with Bobby Kennedy, with Malcom X. Without those deaths, for instance, Nixon would not have been elected, and there would not have been many of the wars that we had. Now, our great leaders like Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are still with us and remember how much we feared they might not be, and how much threat there was, in fact, on their lives. And they are with us.

    And now, our honored Bernie Sanders is still with us. And not only with us, but he’s focusing on economic justice and achieving free universal college education in my state of New York. And now Hillary Clinton is alive and definitely not in jail. She who told the whole world that women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights—so crucial, when collectively violence against females in the world has produced a world in which, for the first time, there are fewer females than males.

    I’m not trying to deny the danger that this day initiates. Trump and his handlers have found a fox for every chicken coop in Washington, and a Twitter finger must not become a trigger finger. Some very experienced doctors of the American Psychiatric Association have publicly written to warn us that, and I quote, “His widely reported symptoms of mental instability, including grandiosity, impulsivity, hyper-sensitivity to slights or criticisms, and an apparent inability to distinguish between fantasy and reality, lead us to question his fitness for the immense responsibilities of the office.” Unquote.

    This was on full display in his inaugural address yesterday. Everything that happened before him was a disaster. And everything that he would do would be fantastic, the best ever, miracles, and all the superlatives. He also said he was with the people. Indeed, he was the people. To paraphrase a famous quote, I just have to say, “I have met the people, and you are not them.” We are the people.

    Just this march in Washington today required 1,000 more buses than the entire inauguration. A thousand more buses. And I was just talking with people from our many sister marches, including the one in Berlin, and they asked me to send a special message: “We in Berlin know that walls don’t work.”

    And remember Poland, where last month the government passed an anti-abortion law and six million women turned out in the streets and they had to change it? We are the people. We have people power and we will use it. All the power that you tried to eliminate. For instance, you tried to eliminate the Congressional Ethics Committee. You had to reinstate it, right? Because of people power. Because this … this, is the other side of the downside. This is an outpouring of energy and true democracy like I have never seen in my very long life. It is wide in age. It is deep in diversity. And remember the constitution does not begin with “I, the president.” It begins with: “We, the people.”

    So, don’t try to divide us. If you force Muslims to register, we will all register as Muslims. I know that there are women here from corporations and media and all kinds of places that make it kind of risky for you to say what you care about, what you feel, and what you support. And there are women here, I know, who have survived a national and global sex industry that profiteers from body invasion. We are united here for bodily integrity. If you cannot control your body from the skin in, you cannot control it from the skin out; you cannot control your lives, our lives. And that means the right to decide whether and when to give birth without government interference.

    We are here and around the world for a deep democracy that says we will not be quiet. We will not be controlled. We will work for a world in which all countries are connected. God may be in the details, but the goddess is in connections. We are at one with each other. We are looking at each other, not up. No more asking daddy.

    We are linked. We are not ranked. And this is a day that will change us forever because we are together. Each of us individually and collectively will never be the same again. When we elect a possible president, we too often go home. We’ve elected an impossible president; we’re never going home. We’re staying together. And we’re taking over. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Make sure you introduce yourselves to each other and decide what we’re going to do tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, and we’re never turning back.

     


     

    Remarks Presented by U.S. Senator Kamala Harris

    Kamala HarrisWhat a beautiful sight I see. What do my eyes behold? This is an extraordinary day and we all should be extremely proud.

    So here’s the deal. I believe we are at an inflection point in the history of our country. I believe this is a pivotal moment in the history of our country. I think of this as being a moment in time similar to when my parents met when they were active in the civil rights movement as students at the University of California Berkeley in the 1960s.

    It’s a moment in time that many of us have experienced in our personal lives. You know, when that circumstance and situation required us to look in the mirror and, with furrowed brow, we ask the question: “Who are we?” This is that moment in time for our country, where we are collectively looking in a mirror and, with furrowed brow, ask this question: “Who are we?” And ladies and gentlemen, I believe the answer is a good one. Imperfect though we may be, I believe we are a great country.

    And part of what makes us great is we are a nation that was founded on certain ideals. Founded on ideals that were spoken in 1776 that we are all, and should be, treated as equals. Founded on the ideals that guarantee every person’s right to worship freely without intrusion. Founded on the ideals where our immigrant communities represent the heart and soul of what it means to be an American.

    And when I look out at this incredible crowd today, I know one thing. Even if you’re not sitting in the White House, even if you are not a member of the United States Congress, even if you don’t run a big corporate super PAC—you have the power. And we the people have the power. And there is nothing more powerful than a group of determined sisters marching alongside their partners and their determined sons and fathers standing up for what we know is right.

    And here’s the thing. We know that it is right for this nation to prioritize women’s issues.

    Now here’s what I’m talking about in terms of women’s issues. When I was first elected District Attorney of San Francisco, Attorney General of California, and a United States Senator from the State of California—in each of those positions, I was elected as the first woman or the first woman of color. And folks would come up to me and they’d say, “Kamala, talk to us about women’s issues.”

    And I’d look at them and I’d say, “I’m so glad you want to talk about the economy.” I’d say, “Great, let’s talk about the economy because that’s a women’s issue. You want to talk about women’s issues? Let’s talk about national security. You want to talk about women’s issues? That’s fantastic. Let’s talk about health care. Let’s talk about education. Let’s talk about criminal justice reform. Let’s talk about climate change.”

    Because we all know the truth. If you are a woman trying to raise a family, you know that a good paying job is a women’s issue. If you’re a woman who is an immigrant who does not want her family torn apart, you know that immigration reform is a women’s issue.

    If you are a woman working off student loans, you know the crushing debt of student loans is a women’s issue. If you are black mother trying to raise a son, you know black lives is a women’s issue. And if you are a woman period, you know we deserve a country with equal pay and access to health care, including a safe and legal abortion protected as a fundamental and constitutional right.

    So, all of this is to say, my sisters and brothers, that we are tired as women to simply being relegated to being a particular constituency or demographic. We together are powerful, and we are a force that cannot be dismissed or written off to the sidelines. But I’ve got to tell you, we’ve got our work cut out for us. And it’s going to get harder before it gets easier.

    I know we will rise to the challenge, and I know we will keep fighting no matter what because we’ve got the power. And I promise that I, along with my sisters and brothers on this stage, will be fighting for you every single day. And I know, fight we will do and fight we will win, especially when they say it’s unwinnable. Especially when they say we might be the only one like you in that room. We know we will always be in that room together.

    So, in closing, here’s how I think we should be thinking about today. This was a day for all of us to come together in our nation’s capital to be seen, to be heard, to be felt. Today is also a day we must recommit our power and our purpose.

    Let’s make today a beginning. Let’s buckle in because it’s going to be a bumpy ride, and then let’s go back to Ohio, and New York and Florida and California. Let’s get to work.

     


     

    ‘I Am a Nasty Woman’ by Nina Donovan and presented at the Women’s March on Washington by Ashley Judd

    Ashley JuddI’m a Nasty Woman.
    Not as nasty as a man who looks like he bathes in Cheetos dust.
    Not as nasty a man who is a diss track to America.
    From back to broken back he’s stomped on, his words are just more white noise ruining this national anthem.
    I’m not as nasty as confederate flags being tattooed across my city;
    maybe the south actually is going to rise again
    Or maybe it never really fell
    Because we’re still drowning in vanilla-coated power
    Slavery has just been reinterpreted into the prison system
    Black lives are still in shackles and graves just for being black in front of people who see melanin as animal skin
    Tell me of a decade that didn’t have traces of white hoods burning up our faith in humanity.
    I’m not as nasty as a swastika painted on a pride flag
    And I didn’t know that devils could be resurrected but I feel Hitler in these streets
    A mustache traded in for a Toupee
    The Nazis renamed The Cabinet
    Conversion therapy the new gas chamber,
    Shaming and electrocuting the gay out of America
    turning rainbows into suicide notes.
    I’m not as nasty as racism, or fraud, or homophobia, sexual assault, transphobia, white supremacy, white privilege, ignorance, or misogyny
    Not as nasty as trading girls like Pokémon before their bodies have even evolved.
    Not as nasty as your own daughter being your favorite sex symbol
    Like wet dreams infused with your own genes.
    But yeah!
    I’m a nasty woman.
    A funky
    Crusty
    Bitchy
    Loud
    Nasty woman.
    Not as nasty as the combo of Trump and Pence being served into my voting booth,
    But I’m nasty like the battles women fought to get me in that voting booth.
    Nasty like the fight to close the wage gap.
    Nasty like conversations trying to remind people there is such a thing as a wage gap.
    Tell me that this is only because women usually go into lower paying fields.
    So why did last year’s top actresses make less than half of what the top actors did?
    Do you realize that the World Cup shelf of the U.S. men’s soccer team is as empty as Trump’s promises
    But the women’s team has scored three World Cups,
    In 2015, brought in 20 million more dollars in revenue than the men’s team,
    but is still paid 75% less?
    See even when women go into high paying careers, their wages are still cut with blades sharpened by testosterone.
    Tell me why the work of a Black woman and an Hispanic woman is only worth 63 and 54 percent of a white man’s privileged paycheck?
    This is not a feminist myth;
    this is inequality.
    So we are not here to be debunked
    We are here to be respected.
    We are here to be nasty
    like blood stained bedsheets.
    In case you forgot,
    women don’t choose when or if they get their periods!
    Trust me, if could we would!
    We don’t like throwing away our favorite pairs of underwear!
    But men can choose to not have sex
    And they know how to live without a full head of hair,
    so why are tampons and pads still taxed, but Viagra and Rogaine aren’t?
    Is your erection really more important than protecting the messy parts of my womanhood?
    Is the thinning of your hair really more embarrassing than the period-staining of my jeans?
    I know it seems petty to complain about a few extra cents
    But it’s just the finishing touch on a pile of change I have yet to feel in this country.
    So don’t try to justify our injustices with excuses that smell like your security when you’re walking alone to the bathroom
    or your car
    or down the street.
    Security my eyes have yet to see
    They’re too busy praying to my feet
    So you don’t mistake eye contact for wanting physical contact
    I’ve been zipping up my smile so you don’t think I want to unzip your jeans.
    I know you forget to examine the reflection of your own privilege
    You may be afraid of the truth
    But I’m not afraid to be honest
    I’m not afraid to be nasty
    Yeah I’m nasty
    like the struggle of women still beating equality into the world,
    because our rights have been beaten out of us for too long.
    And our fight will continue to embody our nastiness.
    I’m nasty like red, white, and blue bruises.
    Nasty like Elizabeth, Amelia, Rosa, Eleanor, Condoleezza, Sonia, Malala, Michelle.
    Our mothers, our sisters, us sisters are all nasty like history
    And our pussies
    ain’t for grabbing
    They’re for reminding you that our walls are stronger than America’s ever will be.
    They’re for birthing new generations of
    Filthy
    Vulgar
    Bossy
    Brave
    Proud
    Nasty women.
    So if you a nasty woman
    say hell yeah.