Miffed and Marching Still

Re: “A Show of Female Power: Women’s March L.A. puts a spotlight on local activists and politicians,” News, Jan. 23

From the bog of irrepressible ire and too-much-time-on-my-hands, like the mighty Cthulhu, I rise from the briny sea and screech my dissatisfaction at your fine publication.

This is in regards to your article about the recent downtown Women’s March. I was in the general vicinity that morning shopping wholesale because I’m a child of World War II and still think pantyhose and shoe polish can be used like currency when I happened upon the harangue of hemmed-in humanity congregating at Pershing Square.

I must concede, I wiped away a sincere tear. Dabbed at the decades-long dry ocular ducts that didn’t even cry when my first husband was carried off into the woods by moustachioed partisans. The throngs were alive with the buoyant hymns of hope. Hope that tomorrow might bring more understanding, more compassion, and a more inclusive vision for the future. I didn’t see seeds being sown. No, I was walking amongst unbending oaks. Upright and verdant in its season.

But there was a marked dissonance, I do bloviate. These cultural ripcurls of female affirmation and varying permutations of postfeminism just beat upon me like hightide. Which wave of feminism are we on again? The fourth or fifth? It’s enough to render one anchor-armed and gasping for breath. I felt anxious and out of place in front of the steps of City Hall. I couldn’t understand why people were so upset at this balloon of a colic-y and apparently severely jaundiced infant. I queried a young lady for answers but all she did was point to her phone and mumble something about a rare Pokémon on my head.

I’ve been around. I’ve marched, sang full-throated, and flung my body upon the gears and wheels of the odious apparatus that deigns to systemically suppress our rights. I’ve burned enough bras to probably partly be responsible for climate change. I monologue at my vagina all the time. And Betty Friedan once took a swing at me in an IHOP. My feminist credentials are formidably intact, ma’am.

But still I was at a loss and feeling generationally misplaced.

Then it occurred to me. Maybe I, too, am this disorienting America. A pre-war turnip borsht of anger infused with optimism. Wonderful in all its complexities and contradictions. Indignantly divided but embedded in the un-caulked cracks a unifying sense of comfort knowing that good will win out and historically democracy is designed to chew up and spit out anomalies like that tangerine-tinged tyke floating above us.

Relief at the realization, I pressed on. Swaddled in my newfound American-Me attire. A compound of the past and the future. The old-timey and the next-in-line-y. This image adequately captures the tone of this march methinks: Me doing the mashed potato to Billie Eilish.

And with that, my haunches stooped from effort and lungs sapped from my spent-bluster, I return to slouch toward my rent-controlled apartment on the Westside. Permanently vexed but momentarily somehow soothed at knowing, yes, I managed to inconvenience everyone a little more and ruffle a fine number of feathers today. And that nourishes these old bones indeed.


Huffily yours still,

Noreen “kulaks stole my dowry” Petrichor

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