My junior year of high school, my school decided to take a group of students to see the Inauguration live in Washington, DC.
The inauguration itself went well, despite our anti-Trump tour guide, Sally, losing part of our group and leaving the reuniting up to my classmate Richard and I. We all enjoyed watching Donald Trump take office, but the real story didn’t take place until our last day in DC––the Women’s March. We discovered, that despite its semblance of female empowerment, the march was anything but that.
We were in a group of fifteen all in Trump gear still hyped from the previous day’s inauguration. We had a few museum spots scheduled before leaving for the airport, so all our stuff had been loaded up on a shuttle for us. As the streets filled up with protestors, our group left the Natural History Museum and began to walk to the Air and Space Museum. Nearing the march, we all agreed to not provoke or retaliate against any protestors; we would stay silent and go to the museum.
Then Sally, our incompetent tour guide, told us that the shortest path cut straight through the crowd, a sea of pink hats and angry posters. She wanted kids wearing red Trump hats to cut through them. We tried to refuse but we had no actual say in the matter and began the trek.
It was immediate. Protestors called us Nazis, racists, and members of the KKK. Barriers and crowds barred our movement, coffee was poured on us, my hair was pulled, and I was grabbed so aggressively that I had a bruise on my arm. People told me that I deserved rape and that I had no right to call myself a woman. Ladies perched on the top of a barricade told us we deserved to die and they would personally “teach us a lesson.” One guy, in particular, got his wife to take a picture of him flipping us off, while others took video and continued to scream at us. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the worst of it.
We decided to take a pitstop in the National Archives, hiding out until we could get our shuttle bus. They couldn’t get to us, so we had to go to them. We left the Archives and, as we descended the escalator into a metro station, a woman tried to grab my friend and pull him down. We were posted on the Women’s March Snapchat Story and were still getting shouted at. When we finally got to our shuttle bus to get to the airport, I shut down and broke into a sob, along with my fellow classmates.
After getting to the airport and flying back, I thought it was finally over. It wasn’t. I had posted what happened on Facebook and as the post shares grew, so did the angry responses. Not only did they claim I was lying, but said the Women’s March was something to be praised. The worst of them said I deserved rape and this was a lesson to be learned.
The trauma lasted. I broke into tears if someone brushed past me and I hadn’t realized that they were behind me. I deleted social media and tried to suppress any thoughts. I felt violated and was afraid I would never move past what happened. Having thousands of people spit on, grab, and degrade you simply for thinking differently dehumanizes you. Even now, years after it happened, I have to have at least two spaces on an escalator in front and behind me or else I get sick.
People need to be aware of what the Women’s March actually is. It says it empowers women, yet I am a woman and I felt anything but empowered. I was spit on. The Women’s March is angry advocacy for a specific agenda and nothing more.
I’m thankful that the DNC recently dissociated, but in 2017, nobody did. I sent my story locally and nationally and never heard back. People didn’t want to report on anything negative. Some people may say that “where I was it was peaceful,” but everywhere I went was not. 16-year-old me was physically assaulted and was given unforgettable emotional damage.
Every year I hear people talk about the march as an incredible day for women and feminism, while I have flashbacks of the most terrifying day of my life. The Women’s March was not for me and it is not for America.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.