Natalie Portman, Viola Davis and more rally crowd at L.A. Women's March

Surrounded by chants of “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Donald Trump has got to go” and signs declaring “Girls Just Want to Have Fun-damental Rights” and “F—k Harvey”, actress Mira Sorvino snaked through the crowd gathering at Grand Park for the Women’s March rally in Los Angeles.

“She won an Oscar,” a rally participant whispered to her friend as Sorvino walked past. Indeed, Sorvino – like fellow celebrity participants Marisa Tomei, Natalie Portman and Rob Reiner, among others – is an Academy Award winner, but for many of the famous faces addressing the crowd of 700,000, the experiences they shared were echoed across all socioeconomic groups.

Portman told the audience how she at age 13 discovered what it is like to be objectified, when her film debut The Professional, about a young girl discovering her voice and womanhood, premiered. “I excitedly opened my first fan mail to read a rape fantasy that a man had written me,” said Portman. “A countdown was started on my local radio show to my 18th birthday, euphemistically the date that I would be legal to sleep with. Movie reviewers talked about my budding breasts in reviews. I understood very quickly, even as a 13-year-old, that if I were to express myself sexually, I would feel unsafe.”

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2018 Women's March around the world
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2018 Women's March around the world
Women demonstrate against sexual harassment, violence and U.S. President Donald Trump in solidarity with American women during the Women's March along with the #MeToo movement,on January 20, 2018 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Andrea Ronchini/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Thousands of people participate in the Second Annual Women's March in Washington, U.S. January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
People take part in the Women's March in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
People take part in the Women's March in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
Women demonstrate against sexual harassment, violence and U.S. President Donald Trump in solidarity with American women during the Women's March along with the #MeToo movement,on January 20, 2018 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Andrea Ronchini/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
People participate in the second annual Women's March in Washington, U.S. January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron Bernstein
People gather prior to the second annual National Womens March on January 20, 2018 in New York City. / AFP PHOTO / Kena Betancur (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
People gather before the second annual National Womens March on January 20, 2018 in New York City. / AFP PHOTO / Kena Betancur (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman holds a poster as she attends the second annual National Womens March on January 20, 2018 in New York City. / AFP PHOTO / Kena Betancur (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
Women pose as they attend the second annual National Womens March on January 20, 2018 in New York City. / AFP PHOTO / Kena Betancur (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
A demonstrator holds a sign that reads 'Girl Power' during the Women's March on Washington in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. One year after the inauguration of President Donald Trump, thousands of people will again gather to protest for equal rights at the 2018 Women's March. Photographer: Eric Thayer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A demonstrator makes signs during the Women's March on Washington in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. One year after the inauguration of President Donald Trump, thousands of people will again gather to protest for equal rights at the 2018 Women's March. Photographer: Eric Thayer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Demonstrators rally near the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool and Washington Monument during the Women's March on Washington in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. One year after the inauguration of President Donald Trump, thousands of people will again gather to protest for equal rights at the 2018 Women's March. Photographer: Eric Thayer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Demonstrators hold signs outside of the Lincoln Memorial during the Women's March on Washington in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. One year after the inauguration of President Donald Trump, thousands of people will again gather to protest for equal rights at the 2018 Women's March. Photographer: Eric Thayer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
People participate in the second annual Women's March in Washington, U.S. January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron Bernstein
People participate in the second annual Women's March in Washington, U.S. January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron Bernstein
People participate in the Second Annual Women's March in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Jessica Kourkounis
People participate in the Second Annual Women's March in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania U.S. January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Jessica Kourkounis
People take part in the Women's March in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
People take part in the Women's March in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
Crowds gather to participate in the Second Annual Women's March in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Jessica Kourkounis
People take part in the Women's March in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
People take part in the Women's March in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
Codepink activist Paki Wieland, dressed as Lady Liberty, participates in the Second Annual Women's March in Washington, U.S. January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
People take part in the Women's March in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
People arrive to take part in the Women's March in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
People arrive to take part in the Women's March in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
People take part in the Women's March in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
A group of people wearing "pussyhats" ride the subway at 42nd Street as they head toward the Women's March in Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
A group of people wearing "pussyhats" board the subway at 42nd Street as they head toward the Women's March in Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
Women hand out pink hats as people arrive at the Second Annual Women's March in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Jessica Kourkounis
People take part in the Women's March in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
People participate in the Second Annual Women's March in Washington, U.S. January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
ROME, ITALY - JANUARY 20: Women demonstrate against sexual harassment, violence and U.S. President Donald Trump in solidarity with American women during the Women's March along with the #MeToo movement,on January 20, 2018 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Simona Granati - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
A woman lifts her fist while holding a banner reading 'Hear our voice' during Rome Resists demonstration part of the Women's March in downtown Rome, on January 20, 2018. The Women's March Rome, designed to show solidarity for the protection of civil and social rights, women's rights and the environment included Italian actress Asia Argento, one of the first women to accuse US film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault. / AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)
A Woman holds a banner reading 'The future is female' during Rome Resists demonstration part of the Women's March in downtown Rome, on January 20, 2018. The Women's March Rome, designed to show solidarity for the protection of civil and social rights, women's rights and the environment included Italian actress Asia Argento, one of the first women to accuse US film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault. / AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman holds a banner reading 'Womwn united will never be defeated' during Rome Resists demonstration part of the Women's March in downtown Rome, on January 20, 2018. The Women's March Rome, designed to show solidarity for the protection of civil and social rights, women's rights and the environment included Italian actress Asia Argento, one of the first women to accuse US film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault. / AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman holds a poster reading 'Our button is bigger than yours, vote' during Rome Resists demonstration part of the Women's March in downtown Rome, on January 20, 2018. The Women's March Rome, designed to show solidarity for the protection of civil and social rights, women's rights and the environment included Italian actress Asia Argento, one of the first women to accuse US film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault. / AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)
Italian actress Asia Argento (3rdL)) attends the Rome Resists demonstration part of the Women's March in downtown Rome, on January 20, 2018. The Women's March Rome, designed to show solidarity for the protection of civil and social rights, women's rights and the environment included Italian actress Asia Argento, one of the first women to accuse US film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault. / AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)
A Woman holds a banner reading 'The rising of the women means rising of us all' during Rome Resists demonstration part of the Women's March in downtown Rome, on January 20, 2018. The Women's March Rome, designed to show solidarity for the protection of civil and social rights, women's rights and the environment included Italian actress Asia Argento, one of the first women to accuse US film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault. / AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)
Women hold a poster reading 'Came for pasta, stayed for resistance' during Rome Resists demonstration part of the Women's March in downtown Rome, on January 20, 2018. The Women's March Rome, designed to show solidarity for the protection of civil and social rights, women's rights and the environment included Italian actress Asia Argento, one of the first women to accuse US film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault. / AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY - JANUARY 20: Women demonstrate against sexual harassment, violence and U.S. President Donald Trump in solidarity with American women during the Women's March along with the #MeToo movement,on January 20, 2018 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Simona Granati - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY - JANUARY 20: Women demonstrate against sexual harassment, violence and U.S. President Donald Trump in solidarity with American women during the Women's March along with the #MeToo movement,on January 20, 2018 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Simona Granati - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY - JANUARY 20: Women demonstrate against sexual harassment, violence and U.S. President Donald Trump in solidarity with American women during the Women's March along with the #MeToo movement,on January 20, 2018 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Simona Granati - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY - JANUARY 20: Women demonstrate against sexual harassment, violence and U.S. President Donald Trump in solidarity with American women during the Women's March along with the #MeToo movement,on January 20, 2018 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Simona Granati - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY - JANUARY 20: Actress Asia Argento, who spoke out against Harvey Weinstein who allegedly sexually assualted her, demonstrates against sexual harassment, violence and U.S. President Donald Trump in solidarity with American women during the Women's March along with the #MeToo movement,on January 20, 2018 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Simona Granati - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
People take part in the Women's March in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Lott
People take part in the Women's March in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Lott
People take part in the Women's March in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Lott
People take part in the Women's March in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Lott
People take part in the Women's March in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Lott
A protester wears a President Donald Trump mask during the Women's March in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Lott
People take part in the Women's March in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Lott
People take part in the Women's March in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Lott
People take part in the Women's March in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Lott
A protester wears a President Donald Trump mask during the Women's March in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Lott
People take part in the Women's March in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Lott
People take part in the Women's March in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Lott
People take part in the Women's March in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Lott
Lillian Neubel poses for a photo with her sign during the Women's March in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Lott TEMPLATE OUT
Emma Hughes poses for a photo with her sign during the Women's March in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Lott
Merchandise is seen for sale as marchers participate in the second annual Women's March in Washington, U.S. January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron Bernstein TEMPLATE OUT
Actor Whoopi Goldberg speaks to demonstrators as they take part in the Women's March in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
Members of the New York Police Department watch people walk down Sixth Avenue as they participate in the Women's March in Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
People participate in the second annual Women's March in Washington, U.S. January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron Bernstein
People participate in the second annual Women's March in outside the White House in Washington, U.S. January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron Bernstein TEMPLATE OUT
Kelly Duncan chants with "Gone 2020" slogan painted on her cheek as she participates in the Second Annual Women's March in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
Demonstrators participate in the Second Annual Women's March in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
People dressed as a wall take part in the Women's March in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
People walk down Sixth Avenue as they participate in the Women's March in Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
People hold placards as they participate in the Second Annual Women's March in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
A woman marches in a costume during the Women's March in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Gabriela Bhaskar TEMPLATE OUT
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 20: Thousands of men and women hold signs and rally while attending the Women� March on January 20, 2018 in New York, United States. Across the nation hundreds of thousands of people are marching on what is the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump's swearing-in to protest against his past statements on women and to celebrate women� rights around the world. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - JANUARY 20: Thousands gather for a rally at Cal Anderson Park prior to the Women's March on January 20, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. Across the nation hundreds of thousands of people are marching on what is the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump's swearing-in to protest against his past statements on women and to celebrate women's rights around the world. (Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - JANUARY 20: Thousands march down 4th Avenue during the Women's March on January 20, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. Across the nation hundreds of thousands of people are marching on what is the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump's swearing-in to protest against his past statements on women and to celebrate women's rights around the world. (Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)
Actress Kathryn Hahn attends Respect Rally Park City to celebrate community victories, honoring the one-year anniversary of the Women's March and Park City's March on Main on January 20, 2018 in Park City, Utah. / AFP PHOTO / ANGELA WEISS (Photo credit should read ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, CATALONIA, SPAIN - 2018/01/20: A woman shows the Catalan and Spanish flag during the demonstration. Organized by the Jusapol Foundation, thousands of Spanish agents of the National Police and the Civil Guard have taken to the streets of Barcelona to demand equal salaries with the regional police of Catalonia and the Basque country. (Photo by Paco Freire/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
A participant attends Respect Rally Park City to celebrate community victories, honoring the one-year anniversary of the Women's March and Park City's March on Main on January 20, 2018 in Park City, Utah. / AFP PHOTO / ANGELA WEISS (Photo credit should read ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images)
Colorado Captain marches with demonstrators during the Denver's Women's March in Denver, Colorado on January 20, 2018, one year after thousands of supporters marched around the world in defense of women's and human rights. / AFP PHOTO / Jason Connolly (Photo credit should read JASON CONNOLLY/AFP/Getty Images)
A demonstrator marches during the Denver's Women's March in Denver, Colorado on January 20, 2018, one year after thousands of supporters marched around the world in defense of women's and human rights. / AFP PHOTO / Jason Connolly (Photo credit should read JASON CONNOLLY/AFP/Getty Images)
A demonstrator listens to speakers before marching during the Denver's Women's March in Denver, Colorado on January 20, 2018, one year after thousands of supporters marched around the world in defense of women's and human rights. / AFP PHOTO / Jason Connolly (Photo credit should read JASON CONNOLLY/AFP/Getty Images)
A demonstrator holds up a pinata of US President Donald Trump during the Denver's Women's March in Denver, Colorado on January 20, 2018, one year after thousands of supporters marched around the world in defense of women's and human rights. / AFP PHOTO / Jason Connolly (Photo credit should read JASON CONNOLLY/AFP/Getty Images)
A demonstrator dressed as a vagina marches during the Denver's Women's March in Denver, Colorado on January 20, 2018, one year after thousands of supporters marched around the world in defense of women's and human rights. / AFP PHOTO / Jason Connolly (Photo credit should read JASON CONNOLLY/AFP/Getty Images)
Rachel (L) and Jordan Roth (R) march with their son George during the Denver's Women's March in Denver, Colorado on January 20, 2018, one year after thousands of supporters marched around the world in defense of women's and human rights. / AFP PHOTO / Jason Connolly (Photo credit should read JASON CONNOLLY/AFP/Getty Images)
Demonstrators march during the Denver's Women's March in Denver, Colorado on January 20, 2018, one year after thousands of supporters marched around the world in defense of women's and human rights. / AFP PHOTO / Jason Connolly (Photo credit should read JASON CONNOLLY/AFP/Getty Images)
Kaia Watson, 8, of Highlands Ranch, Colorado dressed as a character from the 'Handmaid's Tale' listens to speakers during the Denver's Women's March in Denver, Colorado on January 20, 2018, one year after thousands of supporters marched around the world in defense of women's and human rights. / AFP PHOTO / Jason Connolly (Photo credit should read JASON CONNOLLY/AFP/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Marti Matsch of Denver, Colorado marches during the Denver's Women's March in Denver, Colorado on January 20, 2018, one year after thousands of supporters marched around the world in defense of women's and human rights. / AFP PHOTO / Jason Connolly (Photo credit should read JASON CONNOLLY/AFP/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Demonstrators march during the Denver's Women's March in Denver, Colorado on January 20, 2018, one year after thousands of supporters marched around the world in defense of women's and human rights. / AFP PHOTO / Jason Connolly (Photo credit should read JASON CONNOLLY/AFP/Getty Images)
A paticipant holds u pa sign during the Denver's Women's March in Denver, Colorado on January 20, 2018, one year after thousands of supporters marched around the world in defense of women's and human rights. / AFP PHOTO / Jason Connolly (Photo credit should read JASON CONNOLLY/AFP/Getty Images)
Sarah Dooly dances as she serenades demonstrators during the Denver's Women's March in Denver, Colorado on January 20, 2018, one year after thousands of supporters marched around the world in defense of women's and human rights. / AFP PHOTO / Jason Connolly (Photo credit should read JASON CONNOLLY/AFP/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: People rally downtown for the Second Annual Womens March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The march was held to encourage women to fight for womens rights and social justice through political engagement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: People gather at the Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool to rally before the Women's March on January 20, 2018 in Washington, D.C. Across the nation, people are marching on the one-year anniversary of President Trump's swearing-in to protest against his past statements on women and to celebrate women's rights around the world. (Photo by Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images)
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Portman says she adopted a bookish persona and covered her body to avoid unwanted sexual attention. “I emphasized how serious I was,” she said. “I built a reputation for basically being prudish, conservative and nerdy in an attempt to feel that my body was safe and that my voice would be listened to.”

To those criticizing the #MeToo movement as puritanical, Portman wanted to send a message that that is not the case. “Let’s declare loud and clear, ‘This is what I want. This is what I need. This is what I desire. This is how you can help me achieve pleasure.’ To people of all genders, let’s find a space where we mutually, consensually, look out for each other’s pleasure.”

Fresh Off the Boat’s Constance Wu, who joined Portman on stage together with actress and activist Eva Longoria, recalled the first time she brushed off a man’s sexual advances. “He called me a bitch,” said Wu. “He said, ‘Who do you think you are?’” The actress acknowledged that the #MeToo and Time's Up movements are making many uncomfortable. “This movement is not about catering our voices to accommodate more comfort. We are here because we deserve our voices and our perspectives, too,” she said. “To the abusers who have said, ‘Who do you think you are?’ I’m Constance Wu. And as for the bitch part, if you didn’t try to do bitch ass things to us, then we wouldn’t have to be bitches back to you.”

Scarlett Johansson took the stage to explain how she had been conditioned to pander and please because she felt her value as a woman and professional was measured by her desirability to men. “I’ve had many relationships, both personal and professional, where the power dynamic was so off that I had to create a narrative in which I was the cool girl...;because it allowed me to have the approval that women are conditioned to need,” said Johannsson. “I’ve come to realize that not just my 19-year-old self, but my schoolyard self, and my married self, and my professional self, have all at times been a victim of this very condition. A condition that I’m certain that a majority of us share.” 

Johansson hopes her daughter will grow up in a world where she doesn’t have to be a victim of this social norm. “We must make it our responsibility to teach our children to exercise their own autonomy and ego strength by leading by example,” she said. “I have recently introduced a new phrase in my life that I would like to share with you: ‘No more pandering. No more feeling guilty about hurting people’s feelings when something doesn’t feel right for me. In order to trust my instincts, I must first respect them.’” 

 

But if change is to come, it will come at a cost, said Viola Davis. “I’m here today saying that no one and nothing can be great unless it cost you something,” she told the crowd. “The originators of the Me Too’s; the Fannie Lou Hamers, the Recy Taylors, who in 1944 was gang raped by six white men, and Rosa Parks. It cost them something. Nothing and no one can be great without a cost.”

“I am always introduced as an award-winning actor, but my testimony is one of poverty,” continued Davis. “My testimony is one of being sexually assaulted, and very much seeing a childhood that was robbed from me. And I know that the trauma of those events is still with me today. That’s what drives me to the voting booth.”

Director Rob Reiner reminded the crowd of last year’s women’s march, which took place in response to the election of President Trump. “We were all here a year ago [because] we were scared of who was going to enter the White House,” say Reiner. “A year has gone by, and he has corroborated every one of our fears. And we cannot whitewash this anymore. We have a racist in the White House. We have a sexist in the White House. We have a pathological liar in the White House, and he is tearing away at the fabric of our democracy.”

“It’s the women who have given us the power,” he continued. “We’ve seen it with more women running for office, more women taking the true power that they have, and it’s with women that we will take back this country and return democracy to where it belongs.” 

Other participants throughout the three-and-a-half hour ceremony included actress Marisa Tomei, who read a poem about the power of organizing from Marge Piercy, author of Woman on the Edge of Time. Actress Connie Britton congratulated the crowd on being “Upstanders – someone who sees something unjust and wrong and stands up to make it right.” Sophia Bush marveled how the day after government shuts down, “We’re here. We’re working. We’re organizing.”

Olivia Wilde called on attendees to vote in the 2018 midterm elections. Her mother, Leslie Cockburn is seeking Congressional office in Virginia, after a long career as an investigative journalist. “This is a winnable fight, but we need everyone to work together to make it happen,” said Wilde, praising women in the country for taking action. “They never expected us to work together. In fact, they counted on us being incapable of such collaboration. We have shown them, hell hath no fury like a woman underestimated.”

Scandal‘s Tony Goldwyn spoke of his great-great grandmother, who, with her husband worked on the first statutes in the New York State legislature against sexual predation. “I cannot imagine what they would say. If she could witness the courage and the solidarity of the women in this march who have raised their hands and said 'Me Too' and 'Time's Up,' I think her heart would have just about burst,” said Goldwyn, adding that, “the women’s movement has never been just about women. This movement is about equality.” Goldwyn encouraged women to fight, with the support of his own gender. “Our association with strong women only makes us stronger. On behalf of the other 50 percent of the population, I want to say to the women we love, raise, work with and work for – fight on, because we have your backs!”

Between impassioned speeches Rachel Platten lead the crowd into “Fight Song”, which Hillary Clinton had turned into her campaign anthem. Idina Menzel performed “Defying Gravity” from the Broadway musical Wicked, Melissa Etheridge brought the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles on stage to sing “Uprising of Love,” and Andra Day delivered “Rise Up.” 

“What a great day to be alive,” Ted Danson exclaimed while taking the stage with wife Mary Steenburgen to introduce singer Maxwell. “Look at us! We’re not alone watching TV, getting sad and scared about what we see. We’re here embracing each other. As long as we keep love in our hearts and fight like hell we’re going to be ok.”

Backstage there was a sense of celebration as celebrities lingered longer than their appearance required, applauding each other’s speeches and taking pictures with each other. Tomei waved her fists in the air as Alfre Woodard led the crown into a chant of “The people united will never be defeated!” Elizabeth Banks, Allison Janney and Menzel took pictures together, before Menzel turned to chat with Lupita Nyong'o. In the crowd Cat Sadler, Lance Bass and Yvette Nicole Brown mingled. 

The Mayor and Community actress had been part of the march from Pershing Square earlier in the day. “I’ve been horrified this last year,” said Brown. “Our way of thinking about politics and the people in charge is changing. It’s becoming more cynical. We have a porn star scandal and no one is outraged!” The amount of people that gathered for the march, however, gives the actress hope. “I was nervous that fatigue would have set in, but I love that people are still energized. Everyone still believes that we can make a change, and that’s important.”
 

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