Women's March sign: "Trump is an unstable penis!"

Halloween came early to the nation’s capital. Thousands of angry women marched in Washington, D.C. on Saturday to protest Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett and President Trump. Some women wore their pink pussy hats and some wore long red capes and white bonnets. Since this march was mostly a protest against ACB, many women wore black robes with white lace collars as Ruth Bader Ginsburg did.

Sounds like a super spreader event, right? No, no. The mitigation measures to battle the coronavirus pandemic only apply to some events and activities, not large protests in American cities. The protesters are magically inoculated from being infected, apparently. Only Trump supporters attending a campaign rally or church members attending a church service infect each other. Even Thanksgiving dinner with your family and friends is off the table this year, according to Dr. Fauci. Reporters are not interested in following up to find out if protesters spread the virus which leads to the opinions that they do not. Also, there are quarantine restrictions on visitors to Washington, D.C. and those must have been waived for all the out-of-state protesters. The story of a young woman driving up from Florida with her mother and grandmother to attend the Women’s March, an 18-hour car trip, shows that the rules only apply to some people.

Remember when we were told that women have to support other women? That, too, is no longer true. If a conservative woman is nominated for the Supreme Court, liberal women by the thousands will rise up and march in the streets against that nomination, as happened Saturday. Madeleine Albright once said, “Any woman who does not support other women is going to hell.” It was always a dumb generalization aimed at women who don’t support liberal women, like Hillary Clinton. Funny, I don’t remember marches held by conservative women against Elena Kagan, who had absolutely no judicial experience when she was nominated to the Supreme Court. The Washington Post reports that the marchers were mostly white. And there were lots of signs being held up. One read, “Trump is an unstable penis!” held by what looks to be a white man.

There was desperation in the air, according to the WaPo article. ACB will be confirmed and become the newest justice on the Supreme Court. They can march all they want, but it’s happening. One young woman said she is terrified and is fighting the patriarchy or something.

This year’s event has an urgency akin to the first one, she said. “There’s a desperation to it.”

A group of a dozen women dressed as handmaidens, with red dresses and white bonnets, lined up in a row with signs hanging from their necks with the words “Trump Pence OUT NOW!”

The costumes were a reference to Barrett’s leadership role in the Christian group People of Praise, a position that had been called “handmaiden” until 2017 when “The Handmaid’s Tale,” a dystopian novel by Margaret Atwood, was adapted for TV and the term was associated with women subjugated by men.

A few feet away, Kelsey Weir, a 29-year-old artist from southern New Jersey, held a sign with the words “W.A.P.: Women Against the Patriarchy.”

Weir said she feels terrified about the years ahead, especially with Barrett on the Supreme Court. She said she felt it was her duty as a citizen to march. “Women are threatened in a world where a Christian theocracy is threatening to take over,” she said, pointing to the women in handmaiden costumes. “This is the crisis for our world. The next few weeks are going to decide so many things for women.”

Margaret Atwood, a Canadian writer and author of The Handmaid’s Tale, has posted a plea on Twitter for all American ex-pats to vote in this election. She refers to America as a democracy, not a constitutional republic, and dramatically encourages Americans to get out and vote while we still can.

This rally was to attack ACB on her religious beliefs as a practicing Catholic and a member of a group that performs community service in her city. This is extreme to liberal women and threatens to shake up their status quo. They know they can’t attack ACB on her credentials, which are impeccable, or her intellect, which is superior, so they go for personal attacks. Even then, they can only find her religion to attack. It always boils down to abortion. ACB hasn’t suggested that she’ll vote one way or the other if such a case comes before the Supreme Court.

There were counter-protesters who met the angry liberal women who marched on to the Supreme Court building. Pro-life women argued with pro-abortion women.

And, of course, children were dragged into the protests. They were dressed in Handmaid’s capes and bonnets, and one pair of 7-year-old twins were dressed as RBG and Rep. John Lewis.

There may be some protest fatigue setting in after so many months of continual protests, mostly about BLM, and that may account for the lack of black protesters Saturday. Or, at least, that is what one person is saying.

The crowd was predominantly White, a marked difference from the racially diverse protests that filled the city this past summer following the death of George Floyd in police custody.

“There’s some degree of protest fatigue,” said Cherie Craft, founder of Smart from the Start, a community engagement organization that serves primarily Black families in Southeast Washington. “After the summer, people think you know, is this really making a difference?”

Marches were to have been held all around the country, according to organizers. I did a quick search in my city’s newspaper online and found no articles on any local protests except for one. It was a bike ride organized by a group of people in recognition of George Floyd’s birthday.

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