Standing up for our rights at the Women’s March on Washington
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“My body, my choice,” I scream in unison with hundreds of women crowding Pennsylvania Avenue. “Her body, her choice,” the men in the crowd echo in response. This was one of the countless chilling and unforgettable moments I experienced at the Women’s March on Washington.
On Saturday, Jan. 21, I marched on Washington, D.C. for equal rights and opportunities for all people with over 500,000 like-minded others. With the same values in mind, these marches extended across not only the country, but the entire world.
Since the start of President Trump’s campaign, I have strongly opposed the degrading and negative rhetoric that he has spoken. I was an avid Hillary Clinton supporter throughout the election, and going to the Women’s March on Washington gave me an outlet to express my feelings on Trump’s win and concerns for the future of America.
While the march was called “Women’s March on Washington,” the signs and chants of the people there indicated that this march was about so much more. It was about racial equality, gender equality, LGBTQ equality, religious tolerance and environmental issues. It was about giving each and every American citizen the opportunity to reach their highest potential by breaking down every wall in the way.
While marching, I felt intense pride in being not only a woman, but also an American. Seeing people with my shared values and beliefs taking over the streets of Washington, D.C. was definitely the most powerful image I have seen in my life. Standing at the top of a hill and looking down into the endless sea of individuals was something I will never forget. Meeting people from all across America who hold the same values as me was deeply empowering.
Due to the enormous crowds, my family and I were unable to get anywhere close to the stage, but I believe that the community around me was more than enough for me. My voice is still raspy from leading and joining in on countless chants, and my arms are still sore from holding up a poster reading, “Keep your laws off my body,” for six hours.
It saddens me to see people posting on Facebook with either confusion regarding the intention of the march or with anger that we are protesting against our president. This peaceful protest was women and men around not only America but also the world standing up for equal rights for all people. Standing up for what is right does not automatically mean we are hoping our president will fail; in fact, I believe that is the opposite. We hope that our president is indeed a president for all Americans and alleviates our concerns. Though as of now it is not looking so hopeful, the millions of people marching on Saturday are an indication of all that we can accomplish if we continue our efforts.
I hope that for the approximately 3 million people marching worldwide, the march was only the first step of their activism throughout the next four years and beyond.