Why I March: A Quick Trip to Washington, D.C.

February 1, 2017

I had never been to a protest before. When my friends decided to make a trip to the nation’s capital for the Women’s March on Washington, I knew I had to join them.

The night before, we labored away on signs — everything from “The Future is Female” to “Pussy Grabs Back.” As we walked to the site of the rally, I felt good — I was surrounded by people wearing pink pussy hats who all disapproved of the current state of the country. We were standing up for what we believed in.

After many inspirational speakers, the crowd was getting antsy. “Let’s march, let’s march,” they chanted, attempting to turn around and begin marching. The organizers informed us that the entire route of the march was filled with people — they had to reroute.

Once we began marching was when I really started feeling empowered. We all had signs, we were chanting, and there were positive vibes all around. “Does anyone have a snack?” a woman called from a post she was standing on to lead chants. Immediately, people were handing her cookies, carrots and granola bars.

The son took pictures of us while the father made sexual gestures at us. This is why I march.

There ended up being so many people that the march had to be split up. We marched down Pennsylvania Avenue, past Trump’s hotel (where many people left their signs), and down to the White House (where people also left signs). I didn’t want to stop marching. That girl power, that togetherness — I felt like I could march forever. I’ve never experienced anything like it.

As we walked past the Washington Monument and out of the crowds, I felt satisfied. But as we waited for the metro out of the city, a father and son (who looked around 18) shook their heads and made “pussy grabbing” motions at us. The son took pictures of us while the father continued to make sexual gestures at us. This is why I march.

I march because I deserve equal pay for equal work. I march because I’m an ally of the LGBTQ+ community. I march because I won’t tolerate hatred. I march because I care about our planet’s future. I march because we’ve come so far and I refuse to go backward.

Why I March: A Quick Trip to Washington, D.C.

About Rachel Petty

Rachel is a recent graduate of James Madison University. She is from northern New Jersey and spent four months studying in Salamanca, Spain. She also got to travel to many other European countries and has been on mission trips to Costa Rica and Jamaica. In addition to traveling, she loves writing, reading, going to the beach and spending time with friends.

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