The second Women's March of the Trump era motivated thousands of people to take to the streets in downtown Denver on Saturday, January 20, and speak their minds, express their anxiety, proclaim their power, and generally make the statement that they will not go quietly into that political good night. Protesters carried signs that were clever, signs that were meme-worthy, signs that were poignant, and signs that were powerful. And then there were the signs that not only spoke out, but also let some geek flags fly.
From Star Wars to Harry Potter to Dr. Seuss to Margaret Atwood, here are the ten best nerd-tastic signs we spotted at the 2018 Women's March in Denver.
10. "This Episode of Black Mirror Sucks"
The British-import sci-fi anthology that many Americans have binge-watched on Netflix is essentially all about sociological commentary masked as futuristic horror (think The Twilight Zone if you're among the uninitiated). So the reference both makes sense and is equally unsettling, because if we were people trapped in an episode of Black Mirror, we wouldn't really know it, would we? Far out.
When Star Wars was just a twinkle in George Lucas's mind's eye, did anyone really expect that the movie would become a touchstone for political and social justice? Now the parents that played with the X-Wings and TIE Fighters as kids are dressing their own kids up in rebel flight jackets and helping them make signs with the Rebel insignia emblazoned on them. Fandom (and parenting): You're doing it right.
8. The Atwood Effect
Margaret Atwood's Handmaid's Tale was a relatively common sight at the 2018 march, but these two went the extra mile to quote Thomas Jefferson and also refer to a number of dystopian novels that Americans are able to read all over again with a completely new perspective. That sense of fresh horror that you read as you flip the pages of Orwell or Bradbury? Yeah, that's familiarity.
7. "We Must Choose Between What Is Easy and What Is Right"
Harry Potter is to the children of the 2000s what Star Wars is to the kids of the ’70s and ’80s: a near-religion. So the Potter-references are strong, ranging from signs about Dumbledore's army to Hogwarts falling to various and sometimes profane references to Voldemort (see below). But Professor Dumbledore is something of a font of wisdom for the books, and so it's quotes like these that are not only reference, but reverence.
6. Welcome to Night Vale and Twilight
It's a two-fer for some currently and formerly popular tween fandoms — the zeitgeisty podcast of gentle weirdness that is Welcome to Nightvale meets the sparkly romance (and now joke-fodder) vampiric obsession that Stephanie Meyer's books brought into the world. Just the fact that our nation's youth have moved on to ridiculing Twilight should give us all hope for a brighter future.
5. "Fuck You, Cheeto Voldemort"
Sometimes, the most direct messages are the best. (Though Minerva McGonagall appreciates your use of the asterisks as a gesture toward decorum.)
For all the zen-wisdom that the little green Jedi master speaks in many of the Star Wars movies, he doesn't pop up on a lot of signs. But this one is the wizened muppet's take on the British motivational poster designed to be pasted all over London to help quell panic and boost confidence during the anticipated bombings during World War II. Stiff upper lip and all, even if you're made of felt and sound like Grover.
3. "Good Always Triumphs"
What do you get when you combine Harry Potter, Frodo, and a group shot of protesters from last year's Women's March, all in pink hats? Inspiration, that's what.
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2. "In a world of ordinary mortals, you are a Wonder Woman."
Wonder Woman has been a feminist icon since Gloria Steinem picked up on DC's classic heroine for Ms. Magazine back in the 1970s. This quote, from the 1975 TV series starring Lynda Carter, captures the power and the magic and the heroic standard — and sometimes we all need to be reminded of our potential.
1. "A Woman's Place is in the RESISTANCE"
Star Wars has its own significance in the signage of the Women's March, but for the second year running, Carrie Fisher is one of the most common faces of the movement. Which makes sense. She was a princess, she was a general, she was a senator and she was a leader. And always, she was a fighter. Fight on.