At the Chicago Women's March, January 21, 2017
The Reader's archive is vast and varied, going back to 1971. Every day in Archive Dive, we'll dig through and bring up some finds.
Almost a year ago, on January 21, 250,000 people jammed into Grant Park for the Chicago Women's March. That was approximately five times the anticipated turnout, so the march never actually happened. Instead it turned into a general takeover of the city's streets, from the park west to Clark and from Congress all the way up to the river.
For some of us, the day—which was unseasonably warm with a clear blue sky—was a perfect expression of what America could be
, despite Donald Trump's talk of "American carnage" in his inaugural address the day before: we were united, welcoming, and, above all, kind. Others, though, saw
cracks in the facade. The public face of feminism, they argued, was still overwhelmingly white, straight, and cisgender. We need to do better.
This year, the national conversation has been full of talk about feminism, gender, and power. Later in the winter, the Reader
hosted a discussion about intersectional feminism
and how to do it. With the rise of the #MeToo movement, the conversation turned to women's anger
and justice and accountability for sexual misconduct
In the comedy community, Brian Posen
, executive director of Stage 773, stepped down amid allegations of sexual misconduct; he'd already been removed from his position as head of Second City's beginner improv training program after several women complained about his behavior. The debate
in the comedy community goes on about whether men need to change their collective behavior.
There hasn't just been talking. The craftivism
that began with preparations for the march continued, including Aram Han Sifuentes's Protest Banner Archive, featured on the cover of this week's paper. Local artists staged a Nasty Women art show
to raise money for Planned Parenthood; it was so packed, most of the art was sold while people were still waiting in line to get in. Wonder Woman
, the superheroine movie some of us had been waiting for all our lives, became the highest-grossing film ever directed by a woman.
Meanwhile, the archivists at the Newberry Library, aware that we're living through an important historical moment, are doing their best to catalog its artifacts