On Saturday morning my fiancee and I got into our car and drove to our nearest metro station. After we parked and left the parking garage we saw a huge line. This line was of women and men who hadn’t pre-purchased their metro pass. Luckily for us, we already had our Smart passes and were ready to get on the train.
Once my fiancee and I entered the metro plaza we then waited on the platform. We live at the furthest metro stop away from the city, so the trains were empty for us. From the beginning, we knew we would be on a tight train. It reminded me of taking trains in China. Each stop we became more and more enclosed with people trying to squeeze in. Metro was running at full capacity to deal with all these additional riders. My fiance and I were laughing because it took a while for the doors and the woman over the loudspeaker would say, “I will deboard this train if you don’t move away from the door.” Reminded me of what dads say to their kids in movies with long road trips in them.
Getting off the train was not easy. Taking the advice of the internet we got off at Capital Square and had to walk. We reached the capitol building, where I had assumed the rally was starting from and was told to keep going. So we met new people while moving forward. While yes the signs were interesting, the people I met that day were even more interesting. Every man and woman there seemed to be marching for a different reason. Some were marching for access to birth control and against the dismantling of Planned Parenthood. Some were marching against Trump. Some were marching to say that women will not allow themselves to be pushed into the background of society. I saw a lot of kitty hats, 2 polar bears, and impassioned people on all sides of the political isle. While walking I asked a police officer how many people were there and he said about 500,000. Those numbers were confirmed by NBC, New York Daily News, and WMATA stating, on twitter, over 597 thousand metro riders by 4 pm and over one million riders by the end of the day. We continued marching until we got as close to the stage as humanly possible and listened to some impassioned speakers and truly felt a community with these people. The first thing I did when I got home was to email campaigns to see who was hiring. This march made me want to get involved.
The question that the Women’s March asked, and the hashtag they used was #whyimarch, and I marched because I believe in equality in all areas, fairness, and for the government to realize that women’s needs differ from their own. I march for my future, my fiancee’s future and the futures of all children. The word
The word privilege has been used a lot to describe white people. White people forget that they come from good homes, have better educations, and are able to afford better things. Of corse, this does not apply to all white, straight, cis-gendered people. This march, and others like it, especially in the United States was mostly white women marching. 53% of white women who voted, voted for Donald Trump. As those of us who did march go forward we have to remember this fact and not exclue women who do not have all the same political beliefs as you. Compassion will be the greatest streignth we can show.
These world wide marches made a statement to the world at large that women want to be heard, they want their rights respected, and they don’t want the government to infringe on their right to comprehensive health care. But we have to do something moving forward. Contact those who are running in 2017 and 2018, get involved with their campaigns, run for office yourself. The leg work of politics is hard, and not glamorous. Call your representative, ask for a meeting with him or her. Change is only possible if we do the work.