Women’s March on Washington: Why I Went, What I Saw

Eight years ago, I was a right-wing political junkie. A daily Limbaugh listener, nightly Focus on the Family listener, and I wouldn’t watch CNN if you paid me.

I was convinced that Barack Obama was a socialist who would do horrible damage to this country due to his radical liberal agenda. That John McCain was a little too moderate but had redeemed himself by choosing True Conservative Sarah Palin as his VP. That the attacks on Palin in the media – who were trying to make her look stupid – were evidence of how great she really was.

In other words, I was in one hell of a bubble.

I was so disgusted by Obama’s win, that I tuned out. I cared too much, it made me too angry, to hear the horrible things that were about to happen. This act is one of the best things that I’ve ever done. Because when I came back to politics in the last couple years, I made it a point to get objective information. I discovered that Obama was actually a pretty damn good President, despite unprecedented obstruction.

And I realized that at heart, I’m one of those leftie liberals I used to love to hear Rush condemn.

On The Other Side Of Defeat

So now I’m on the other side of an election defeat. Once again I see a President whom I did not support, and believe with all my heart that he is going to do serious damage to this country. Only this time, I’ve not been brainwashed to believe so. Is it possible that a few years from now I’ll be surprised to discover that Donald Trump was actually a good president? It’d be one hell of a surprise, but a happy one.

But if his first week is any indication, that’s not very likely.

And of course, Donald Trump is being just exactly who he said he was going to be on the campaign trail. He’s not just changing economic policies – the country is well able to weather shifts from conservative to liberal Presidents and back again. Rather, Donald Trump and his authoritarian tendencies and disrespect for the rights of anyone not a straight, white, rich man is a danger to the very thing that makes America the country it is.

Beginning My Resistance

So this past weekend I drove from southeastern North Carolina to Washington DC to participate in the Women’s March. I marched because I believe in marriage equality and that LGBTQ people deserve to be protected from discrimination. Because I believe that Black Lives Matter and the answer to the problem is not more “Law and Order” but to get racism out of our police system. I believe Muslims have just as much a right to come to, live in, and worship in this country as anyone else.

I’m not a member of any of those groups, but I believe those things to my core and will fight for those principles.

I am, however, a woman. A woman who’s been groped by a stranger just like our President bragged about doing. Who’s experienced sexual harassment at work, been treated unfairly or denied opportunities just for being female, and dealt with sexism for over four decades.

And I’m beyond horrified and disgusted that an admitted sexual predator is now my President. I’m angry that the voters of this country cared so little for the concept of a woman’s right to say “no” that they elected a man who’s been accused of assaulting over a dozen of them.

Now, let me dispel some myths for you:

  • I was not paid by anyone to march. Nobody I encountered was.
  • Many of us were able to go due to the kindness and collaborative spirit of others. While in DC, I spent two nights sleeping on the floor in the living room of an apartment with 5 other women I’d never met before. The people who live in the apartment offered this space for FREE on a website set up to make these connections. I used the same site to offer a ride in my car, and so one other marcher was able to go that otherwise wouldn’t have.
  • I have never in my life encountered a more supportive, uplifting, positive group of people than the half a million people in DC on Saturday. And I’ve been to several versions of the “March for Life,” the annual demonstration against the Roe vs Wade decision legalizing abortion. The atmosphere isn’t even close.

What I saw in DC was half a million fired-up people, from every faith, every gender, every race. And as angry as we all are at the Trump administration, the overwhelming feeling was one of love and support.

This was my first major demonstration as a liberal. But it most certainly won’t be my last.

Here are some images I took that day:

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