“I can’t believe we are still having to protest this shit.” That sign, carried by a woman old enough to make its point even clearer, drew appreciative murmurs and smiles from the multi-generation, mixed-gender but still overwhelmingly white crowd which came together on the grounds of the state capitol in Concord, New Hampshire, the largest of several gatherings held in the Granite State in solidarity with the Women’s March in Washington.
I have two lingering impressions from the rally. One is that New Hampshire has an amazing pipeline that nurtures women candidates. Both our Senators and both our representatives in Congress are women. Jeanne Shaheen, Maggie Hassan, and Carol Shea Porter all spoke, while Annie Kuster marched with the New Hampshire delegation in DC. Let’s follow the lead of New Hampshire and get more women into elected political office. They really do make a difference.
The second is that New Hampshire folks totally understand the importance of Planned Parenthood and stand with it. In a small rural state, Planned Parenthood touches many lives. It’s the place women can go for a range of health care services, accessed from reliable professionals at an affordable cost. Sometimes it’s their only option. One of the main take-away points from the rally was the determination of New Hampshire residents to keep Planned Parenthood funded and operational.
A final thought: after self-described Male Chauvinist Pig Bobby Riggs lost to Billie Jean King in the Battle of the Sexes in 1973, he claimed he should get credit for spurring the women’s movement. Twisted reasoning, but he had a point. Maybe Donald Trump is having a similar impact on feminism today.