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Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


A love letter to the women who moved me to march

Women’s March on Washington showed the importance of fighting for equality and justice in Trump’s America
Claudia Meyer-Samargia

Wedged between a young man holding his daughter and a 50-something year old woman in a pink beanie, affectionately called a “pussy hat,” I prepare to exit the metro at the Federal Center station.

As I emerge from the train, a sea of men and women of every age and race greet me, each with their own reason for being there. I impatiently wait in line, ready to scan my metro card, eager to emerge from underground and see the turnout for the Women’s March on Washington. Each one of us scrambles forward, united in harmony with the same determination to make a statement.

On Third Street, the energy pulses beneath my feet to the beat of the phrase “I am woman, hear my roar.” Thousands of signs in a rainbow of colors, with equally colorful language, dance before my eyes. I set forward on this march along with two of my friends from Madison, a friend’s mom and two rambunctious sisters-in-law from Dallas we immediately bonded with on the metro. I proudly lift my own neon pink sign reading: “Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.”


In photos: Women’s March brings colorful protest for justice to Madison streets

The media made predictions, the news threw out numbers, but no one expected the march to be as huge as it was.

In Washington, D.C., an estimated 200,000 more than doubled to 500,000 people.

I am pressed up against people on every side. As I wiggle through the crowd, I am astonished at not only the extremely large crowd of women, but the amount of men in attendance.

As we chant in the streets, we break into a beautiful split chant between the women and men —“my body, my choice,” echoed by “her body, her choice.” Chills run up and down my spine. I yell at the top of my lungs.

I am astonished by the age range of the crowd. I see countless women holding signs reading, “I cannot believe I still have to protest this shit.” I see a woman in a wheelchair holding a sign simply reading: “Today is my 100th birthday.” More chills.

I see children on their parents’ shoulders. I see children gripping onto their mothers’ hands. A little boy sits on his father’s shoulders, holding a sign that reads, “Treat others fairly.” If only it was that simple.

Suddenly, we find ourselves in front of the White House. An extra fence has been erected to allow for maximum space between the crowd and President Donald Trump’s new home.

Please don’t diminish the Women’s March

It is only here I notice a few women getting angry. One woman asks a guard why there is a fence, and he explains they need to keep the president safe. She screams, “Is anyone going to try to keep all of us safe in these next four years? Does he care about us?”

Every inch of the fence and the sidewalk surrounding it is covered in the signs left by protesters. I choke back tears when my eye catches a sign that states, “2.9 million more people voted for her,” as it sinks in that this number is real.

In the months following the election, I have felt so alone at times in my love for former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and my extreme disappointment in her loss. I will forever mourn my Madame President. This march was a visualization of those who do not agree with Trump’s actions and agenda. I finally feel I am not alone.

We head down a packed street wedged between beautiful brick buildings. Men and women take photos of the march from the windows above, and protesters sitting on the edge of an overhead bridge wave signs and flags. As if propelled by the current of a river, I allow myself to be carried along with the rest of those marching and breathe it all in.

Women fighting for their rights alone is not enough: Why the Women’s March on Washington needs men

For the first time since Nov. 8, I encounter an emotion that used to be so familiar to me: hope.

I sit here now, safely in Madison, having returned from the largest protest in American history, reflecting on why this was so important to me.

Why did I march?

I marched for the strong, confident women who stood by my side every single day at my all-girls high school.

I marched for all of the inspiring organizers who I met as an intern at Hillary for America, who gave up their lives to fight for what they believe is right and drive positive change.

I marched for my mother, who taught me what it means to be a confident, independent woman.

I marched for my best friends — passionate, intelligent, compassionate and deserving of every opportunity to be successful.

I marched for the next generation of leading women, who I dream will have more opportunities than I could ever imagine.

I marched for Clinton, who taught me to pursue my passions, never stop fighting and who will always be my champion.

I marched because I believe everyone should be treated as equal, regardless of gender, race or sexual orientation.

I marched for myself.

Because I am strong, intelligent and powerful.

The Women’s March was great, but white women can’t bail now

The beauty of this march was it meant something else to every single person in attendance. For some, it was in opposition to Trump. For others, it was a chance to be in solidarity with the women of this country who are scared for their futures.

For me, it was a healing experience as well as a statement to the new president. I want him to do well. I want this country to succeed. But he will never succeed if he forgets about the very important women of this country.

You do not have to agree with my politics, but you should respect the reason for this march — to demand equality for women.

In Hillary’s words: “Human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights.” We are asking to be treated as equals — so we will march until the day we are, as we should be.

Claudia Meyer-Samargia ([email protected]is a sophomore majoring in strategic communication and journalism with a certificate in digital studies. 

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