One of the best parts about entering the nation’s political hub is definitely getting to watch democracy transpire all around you. Any day, you can witness think tanks updating curious citizens about the details of international tension or maybe faith in politics. Museums outlining the creation of our country and its following issues are open to the public. Best of all, by living in this city, you are surrounded by similarly passionate people, ready to do whatever they can to help make the country better.
I’ve always been politically active. However, sometimes caring about certain social or political issues can be challenging—especially when amidst people with less passion or with contrasting opinions. While learning how to cooperate with people of different views is important, one of the most empowering things a political girl can do is protest. At protests and marches, you are momentarily surrounded by like-minded people excited to fight with you for the very things that make you angry. Not only are you whole-heartedly using your rights to participate in democracy, but you get to learn more about your beliefs while becoming inspired by other protestors.
For these reasons, I attended the women’s march. This was easily one of my favorite days in the city. The march started with multiple speakers, including Martin Luther King III and his activist wife, who informed the crowd about the historical influence of marches for equality. Then, we learned a dance to the song “Un Violador en tu Camino” to call out the president on his contribution to American rape culture. The march ended up at the white house, with President Trump inside. We don’t know for sure if he watched, but this protest was unique in that we could approach powerful politicians directly rather than just hope they see us on the news.
Despite light rain and hail, hundreds of people walked the streets of Washington with handmade signs lifted high in the air. We chanted, sung, and greeted each other. I got to feel what it’s like to walk down streets normally flooded with cars and, instead, be surrounded by the simple beauty and spirit of Washington. I loved asking people to elaborate on their signs, and I gratefully witnessed hundreds of different views and passions all brought together under the umbrella of feminism and equality. The march taught me, both, about what it means to be a feminist and reminded me that I’m not alone in this fight. In fact, even in this city’s humble parameters, I am surrounded by intelligent people ready to sing alongside me in the name of gender equality.