Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Aisha Sultan: When a March Trumped School for This Clayton Mom

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Aisha Sultan: When a March Trumped School for This Clayton Mom

Article excerpt

Ten-year-old Lucia del Pilar interrupted the audio book she and her mother listened to as they cruised across the country in a hybrid Highlander. The speakers played Gail Collins' book, "America's Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates and Heroines," which tells the stories of the women who have shaped our nation.

Lucia spoke up when she heard Anne Hutchinson's name. She had learned about Hutchinson in her fifth-grade classroom.

"When we were talking about the colonies, she was in the workbook," Lucia said. "She was one of the only women on the list." Hutchinson was an outspoken leader and midwife who challenged the established New England Puritan patriarchy. She was tried, convicted and banished from the colony for her religious dissent.

It was fitting car talk for a mother and daughter participating in their first march, a female-led protest against the new president of the United States. Jessica del Pilar, 38, of Clayton, took her daughter out of school for two days to travel to the nation's capital for the Women's March, which ended up surpassing the number of people who attended the inauguration by threefold. Crowd counts estimate 500,000 people marched in D.C. Nationally, it is said to be the largest protest in American history, with political scientists estimating from 3.3 million to 4.8 million people participating in towns throughout the country.

But, del Pilar had no idea of how it would turn out when she decided to drive 800 miles with her daughter. During the election cycle, every issue felt polarized to such an extreme to her. After Donald Trump won and del Pilar saw the reports of violence by some of his supporters, she wanted to do something. His Cabinet appointments affirmed her resolve.

"I think it's very important for people to understand, his supporters don't represent the whole country," she said. "I don't want to be complacent in this moment. I don't want to pull back or hide or just be hopeful that everything will be OK."

She also felt a little isolated, away from family, and a transplant from blue cities to a red Midwestern state. They made plans to meet up with her sister, an aunt and a friend traveling from California, also bringing her young daughter. …

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