Cold Bodies and Fiery Souls

January 2017. 

 

329 million Americans rang in the new year, half a million Americans welcomed a misogynist into the White House, and 4.6 million Americans took to the streets in protest. 

 

The Women’s March of 2017 was the largest single-day protest recorded in U.S. history. Protestors screamed, sang, and spoke out against Trump’s accounts of sexual assault, police brutality, and any form of discrimination while championing equal pay, reproductive rights, environmental concerns, immigrant rights, and more. Throughout the rallying, there was a uniform beauty in this chaos of inclusion. 

 

What many do not know, however, is that a Women’s March has been held every year since Trump’s inauguration. And what are we still fighting for? Not surprisingly, the exact. same. things. 

 

Three years later, Trump still sits in the Oval Office, women still do not receive equal pay, the Equal Rights Amendment still has not been passed, and the list goes on. This past January, I was fortunate enough to rebel against these injustices in the D.C. streets for the 2020 Women’s March. I metroed (I’m just going to go ahead and make that a verb) to Freedom Plaza and was met by a sea of people decked out in their bright pink attire, signs proudly thrust into the air as snow fell from the sky.  

 

Yes, it was cold and dreary, but that didn’t stop anyone. Protestors gathered around to learn an anthem taught by the Chilean protest group “LaTesis,” about rape and oppression. We chanted until our voices went horse, marched with (it felt like) frostbitten toes, and belted out the lyrics to FDT by YG. 

 

It is hard to put into words what it felt like to be there. Here is my best shot at it: I felt an overwhelming sense of pride, amidst all the struggles that our society is currently facing. The people there were unified in their dedication, and that was simply all we needed to bring us together. Marchers seemed ready to go to battle if the time ever came—with the sticks on their signs as their only ammunition and the megaphones shielding their faces as their only protection. Who knows what my 6-mile walk and “We Have the Right to be Heard” poster really did, but regardless, I felt like I was a part of something bigger—something that would change the course of history for the better. 

 

What did I take from the experience? One, I will certainly be going back next year. But two, that while women continue to struggle, suppressed within this paternalistic society, we are not alone. There are people out there willing to speak out and fight for our rights, as well as continued efforts to fight against inequality. 

 

Our bodies may be cold, but our souls are on fire. 

 

Sources: 

https://www.cnn.com/2017/01/20/politics/donald-trump-barack-obama-inauguration-crowd-size/index.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/02/07/this-is-what-we-learned-by-counting-the-womens-marches/

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/21/us/womens-march.html

https://www.npr.org/2020/01/18/797638115/womens-march-draws-a-smaller-but-passionate-crowd