Experiencing the Women’s March on Washington

(Featured photo courtesy of Womensmarch.com)

By Rebecca Driker-Ohren (’18)

From the moment the election results were in- and quite frankly, a long time before that moment- something fundamental changed in our country: our nation’s core values.

I don’t pretend to be well-versed in politics, or to follow any candidacies closely. But what I do know is that the division that our country felt throughout this last election has taken us a step backwards from being the country of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, which has been the vision of the United States since its founding.

When Donald J. Trump was elected President of the United States, so were his views on abortion, immigration, LGBTQIA rights, incarceration, the environment, gun control, healthcare, social security, and women’s rights. To say that I do not agree with many of President Trump’s policy claims would be both an understatement and statement of the obvious.

As someone who is constantly boasting about being a feminist, going to a diverse school, and being in an organization that strives to create global peace, I felt that to idly stand by in a situation of national and personal crisis would be inappropriate, and somewhat hypocritical. Then, I heard about the Women’s March on Washington.

On January 21st, 2017, less than 24 hours after President Trump was inaugurated, hundreds of thousands of protesters gathered in Washington D.C. to protest the election of ignorance and inequality of the U.S. government-and I was one of them. We crowded the streets of Washington D.C., chanting and cheering and clapping, a sea of pink pussy-hats and passion.

For a liberal hippie-in-training like myself, it was pure hope. Sure, people booed when passing the Trump International Hotel, and there were many posters that included profanities, but the purpose of the march was so much more than that. The Women’s March on Washington was a breeding ground for action, and the sense of community was stronger there than hate could ever be. We marched against Trump, but we also marched for freedom, so that every person in the United States has the right to be a citizen, to control their body, to have affordable health care for themselves and their family, to live in a safe place- and that was only the beginning.

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