This weekend I was reminded twice why I like having my vagina so much.The first being the inauguration of the 45th president of these United States and the second (and most important) being the Women’s March on Washington the following day. Now, if you happen to be someone who often relies on social media to get your daily dosage of news (myself included), so be it but I strongly encourage you to fact check with credible sources including after reading this. Or if you happen to be someone who runs on the conservative side and cringes when someone uses slight profanity, continue reading I promise you won’t die.
So there is a new president in town and a bunch of women from across the country came to D.C. with their vagina’s to make an imprint on their nation’s capital. To say the very least, I am not familiar with many millennials or know many people who are supporters of the current president and their reasons are completely justified. His words have offended quite a few people. To name a few, he’s offended women, people of the Islamic faith, the Mexican community, and somehow black people seem to hardly ever miss the offended list. Unfortunately his words send a message that really don’t have a place on this earth anymore and in my opinion the Women’s March on Washington was a loud and vibrant message being sent right back.
Before I jump into why the Women’s March was so significant and is necessary for everyone to understand, I’m going to explain my personal experience at each event. I wanted to attend the inauguration on Friday Jan 20, 2017 specifically for historical purposes. I did not have any expectations prior to attending but I will admit I was a little surprised at how uneventful the entire thing was. If you are familiar with the D.C. area you should be able to understand the geographical map I am going to put into perspective. If you are not familiar with D.C., take a look at this map to grasp a general idea and then of course proceed to fact check.
I left my apartment around 10 am est (located near Howard University) because I anticipated large crowds traveling toward downtown because even a small commute in D.C. is worth at least a 30-45 minute preparation most especially involving an incoming president. However, my commute was only 25 minutes including the 10 minute walk to the Columbia Heights metro station which took me 4 stops to Gallery Place Chinatown metro. Immediately getting off the train I saw D.C. police, homeland security, and metro security walking around monitoring metro activity and answering questions to people who obviously weren’t from the area. What stood out to me was that the amount of security present seemed unnecessary because the metro on a Monday morning looks way worse. However, I understand there was much more to consider that day than just numbers but it still seemed ridiculous. Walking out of the metro I exited on F & 7th street (right across the Smithsonian American Art Museum) and I honestly thought something was wrong. In sight all I saw were people walking around as if it was a normal day with yet again an unnecessary amount of police patrolling 7th street (which is a straight shot toward the inauguration on Pennsylvania ave). Not long after, I noticed a crowd coming down 7th street chanting “No Trump! No KKK, no fascist USA!”.
The dramatic side of me immediately thought something was about to go down because it was inauguration day and I assumed Trump supporters were determined to have a great day. The only thing that happened were people joining the crowd from sidewalks and crossing streets. So I started walking to take footage, and assumed the crowd was headed toward the inauguration. After walking 10 minutes, the protesting crowd was forced to turn left onto D street which eventually merges with Indiana st. At that point I started to get anxious because I felt like I was going in a roundabout and was going to miss the entire event. However, I quickly realized that the intersection of Indiana and 7th st was as close as I was going to get to anything due to the blocked off roads and check-in points for people who had access to the streets where everything was being held.
Side note: In case you ever plan to attend a presidential inauguration in the future, make sure you request a ticket from your state senator so that you can have access to witness history with your own eyes. It is all free you just have to do extra.
Anyhow, I ended up finding an area to stand and wait among a crowd of Trump supporters listening to his swearing in. To be honest, the crowd was light but the majority were supporters of the incoming president and I hardly felt uncomfortable. Among the crowd were a few anti-Trump protesters but I did not witness any malicious looks or acts exchanged between people. Well the one thing I did witness did not come from the mouth of a Trump supporter. Overall I think the anticipation of the completion of his swearing in is what both supporters and anti’s were anxiously awaiting to see if this was actually happening and frankly so was I. As soon as he finished, there were cheers that lasted all but 10 seconds and then it started to drizzle. Not that that has complete relevance, but anti’s definitely made it a point to associate such natural causes as a sign of what is to come.
Once people looked around and realized what just happened the crowd gradually dispersed and people simply just carried on. Granted, Trump supporters were walking with a sense of pride and making an effort to smile at anyone wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat but no one acted in an obnoxious manner. Again, I did not feel uncomfortable at any point I simply went to witness a ceremony that happens every four years. Unfortunately, I felt that what I saw was uninteresting from the moment I got there to the moment I left. That is kind of sad for a ceremony that is known worldwide to mark the beginning of a new era and power. Granted, this is my own personal reaction from attending but I am sure other people had different reactions from their experiences. To conclude this day, I irresponsibly decided to pick-up a burger from Five Guys and spent $14 on a non-nutritious meal that went straight to my hips. Followed by a trip to CVS, an unnecessary 0.8 mile uber ride home, and a 2012 documentary film on the life of the legendary reggae singer Bob Marley. So that was my Friday a bland yet interesting, uneventful, and unnecessarily expensive day.
The next morning I woke up around 8 am est and stared at my ceiling for a while. I tried forcing myself back to sleep but realized if I made effort to witness yet another man sworn into office then my vagina and I were certainly going to not only witness history again but participate in it. So I called up my girl Mo and we decided to check this thing out together. I took the same travel route from the previous day except this time the streets were active with people and cars and the metro was jam packed. At one point, the lines were so backed up people said “screw the metro, just walk” (and that’s really nothing new). Mind you, that walk is a good 45 minutes from Columbia Heights metro and I was not in the mood to have my flat a** feet endure chronic pain. So I toughed it out and managed to get on the metro.
The leisurely 15 minute ride I took the previous day with the the same route ended up being a claustrophobic 36 minute ride. I eventually made it out thanks to the beloved and supportive metro woman of the day. I proceeded to walk into a colorful and amazing view of people coming from all directions making me feel lost in area I am well familiar with. Luckily, it didn’t take too long to locate my friend Mo but when we found each other we got hyped TF up to see what we were getting ourselves into for the day. Fortunately, one of us came prepared and contributed to the colorfulness of the crowd.
We started to walk down Pennsylvania ave (the street where the inauguration was held) and turned right onto 6th heading toward the national mall and there we saw the profound movement. The entire mall was literally filled with women, men, and children. It was actually a beautiful sight to see because it was the first time I’d ever seen a true demonstration of what it means to be a united nation.
People were standing, laughing, cheering, chanting, and even dancing in unison that I almost didn’t believe I was walking on the same grounds I was the day before for a separate event. Mo and I were basically walking neck and neck trying not to lose sight of each other while also trying to take photos of everything we saw. We managed to walk 0.1 miles in 20 minutes and ended up being directed by a nice man to 7th and Constitution ave but then realized we were hungry. So we went to Shake shack and I spent another damn $13 on a non-nutritious meal. The point is, the time it took for me to travel, find Mo, walk to the national mall, walk among like-minded people, and ended up having to leave before the march officially started due to hunger pains, shows to prove which event was taking headlines that weekend.
We eventually made it back out and came across a lot…
Let it be known that people did not come here for the bull sh*t…
People came from all over the nation and were walking alongside each other as if they had been neighbors all their lives. Everyone was making a conscious effort to be kind and exchanging soft smiles demonstrating that unity is everything. Even Mo demonstrated how she felt about her place in all of this and of course I backed her up. I can definitely attest to the fact that living in Washington D.C. has exposed me to a new way of life; but what’s more important is realizing I live in a city where people come here specifically to handle business in so many different ways its a surreal thing to witness. Though, Washington is a pretty transient city meaning people come and leave this town faster than millennials change partners, I am hopeful about the days ahead. Participating in the Women’s March was more than just a protest, it was a movement where people proudly demonstrated that love and unity will always win. This is something that should be practiced everyday and everywhere. I am aware that when reality sets back in its challenging to continue that positive vibe 24/7 but it has to start somewhere in order to go somewhere. So let it be known that:
- If you are a millennial, did not vote, and unhappy about the outcome of who the 45th president of the U.S. is, acknowledge and most of all accept that you did fail to exercise your right to vote and make the conscious effort to get your sh*t together and act on what you know to be right now.
- If you are a millennial, did vote, and unhappy about the outcome, make a conscious effort to accept reality as it is but more importantly continue to act on what you know is right and move right TF forward cause this is not the end all be all.
- If you are a millennial or simply a supporter of the 45th president, voted, and happy with the outcome, I encourage you to make a conscious effort to decipher right from wrong and act on what you know is right regardless of your political views.
So yes, this weekend my vagina and I had a blast rekindling our relationship to strengthen our efforts in continuing to being powerful. That being said, I know its cool to watch all the things that happen in our country via social media but I guarantee you its way cooler to make the conscious decision to act on the injustices you know to be wrong and won’t accept.