As the great Beyonce once said, "Ladies, let's get in formation." And for me, this statement could not have rang more true. On Saturday, January 21st, I journeyed seven hours from a small town in Ohio to Washington, D.C to participate in the wildly known event: The Women's March. Now, I know what most of you are thinking, why on earth would I choose to get 3 hours of sleep on a claustrophobic bus, and then march for six hours while being extremely hangry and exhausted? Well, at first I chose to do it because all my friends were, and heard about it through every social media outlet and celebrity possible. I also thought a free trip to Washington, D.C would be fun. While I still wasn't fully convinced-my friends pushed me with a reminder that this event is once in a life time, and that I would be missing out on a historical event that will be talked about for years to come. So, I hopped on the bandwagon. However, little did I know how much this event would impact my views as a woman and show me a brighter side of humanity through our deteriorating past election. 

Why I Did It  

From the early stages of the election, my friends would drive to Columbus and participate in all the anti-Trump protests with signs that would read, "My Pussy Grabs Back," and "Nasty Woman." While I am a feminist, I never had the opportunity to join them because I was busy, tired, etc. However, when the D.C trip was offered at my school and my friends all signed up, I decided to get out of my comfort zone and participate in something I strongly support. Especially as a millenial, I felt like this was my opportunity to be heard.

What This Event Protested  

I think it should be made clear that this event was not just an anti-Trump protest. It was a rally for basic human rights. As Hillary Clinton once said, "Human rights are women's rights, and women's rights are human rights," in a line from a 1995 speech in Beijing. These rights include reproductive health, childcare, and jobs. Also, the right to live free of sexual harassment and gender, race, and sexuality-based discrimination. 

What Happened When I Was There

When I first arrived there, it was clear I was underprepared for what I was about to experience. With one dinky little "Love Trumps Hate" sign in tow, I felt embarassed as everyone around me had a pink pussycat hat on or some glorious hand made sign that they marched with above their head the entire time. In the morning, there was the rally, where I sat in the middle of millions and heard Gloria Steinem discuss what it means to be a woman.

My Revelation

 In a specific moment, I remember receiving a Washington Post alert during the rally saying that the march had to be cancelled because it reached over two million people and could no longer be controlled. As soon as this happened, protesters instantly began to cheer and take over the town, marching everywhere and anywhere throughout D.C. It was in that moment in which my friends and I felt so powerful and that we were truly being heard, and our voices had the ability to invoke change. Walking alongside my friends, I heard men, women, and children all over chant, hug, and become unified over one important fundamental right that every human should uphold: equality.

What You Need to Know 

 It was during the march where I truly realized that while I only make 77 cents to every white man's dollar, black women make 64 cents, and hispanic women make a mere 55, which is deplorable. This also further drove home that not having access to adequate healthcare is extremely scary and not something that anyone should ever have to worry about, but could soon become a harsh reality for Americans of different race, gender, and sexuality everywhere.

To Get Involved

One of my favorite definitions of feminism is told by an Australian woman named Su, who simply defines it as, "Women who don't want to be treated like shit." I am in no way the purest form of feminist there is. I am pro-choice, I believe in equal pay, and I am sick of living in a patriarchal society where women are oppressed for their sexuality. One of the only ways to combat change is to stick up for what you believe in. If you are interested in joining a local rally or march near you, you can visit their website for more information.