Gloria Steinem’s keynote speech at the Women’s March on Washington lambasted Donald Trump’s inauguration speech, praised Hillary Clinton, and focused on the power of so many women protesting together. “I wish you could see yourselves, it’s like an ocean,” she said, looking out at the crowd. “Thank you for understanding that sometimes we must put our bodies where our beliefs are. Sometimes pressing send is not enough.”
Below, the six most compelling moments from her speech.
1. On the wisdom that comes with age: “We remember the death of the future with Martin Luther King, with Jack Kennedy, with Bobby Kennedy, with Malcolm X. Without those deaths, for instance, Nixon would not have been elected, and there would not have been many of the wars we have 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.”
2. On the place of women in the world: “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.”
3. On Trump’s inaugural address: “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 want to say I have met the people, and you are not them.’ We are the people. Just this march in Washington today required a thousand more buses than the entire inauguration.”
4. On the need to resist division: “[The Constitution] begins with ‘We the people.’ So don’t try to divide us, do not try to divide us. If you force Muslims to register, we will all register as Muslims.”
5. On bodily autonomy: “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 a right to decide whether and when to give birth without government interference.”
6. On the need to unite: “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.”