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Why I am Traveling to Washington, D.C. to March in the Women’s March

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Why I am Traveling to Washington, D.C. to March in the Women’s March

Morgan McMurray escapes the Northwest political bubble to march in the heart of D.C.

January 19, 2017

My partner is black. My best friend is gay. I work with hundreds of immigrants and people of varying religious backgrounds. At least 10 of my close friends, women and men, have been sexually assaulted. I grew up in a very conservative Midwestern town, but I find that — even now — living in a liberal-minded city like Seattle, I cannot always escape the ingrained prejudices some people still harbor or the violent tendencies of their misdirected fear.

I didn’t hear about the Women’s March on Washington until it made national news, at which point it had tens of thousands of responses on its national event page. With dozens of sister marches cropping up across the U.S. and internationally, what started out as an anti-Trump rally quickly morphed into a blanket movement for men and women from all walks of life to express their frustration.

My own fury over the events of 2016 began to build up as I read posts from people across the nation pledging to be in D.C. on January 21, 2017. I knew I had to be part of it. I had to show up at the epicenter of our government and voice my rage at the politicians who have consistently voted against issues that I’m passionate about, like health care services for women. But an unsuccessful search for cheap inauguration weekend flights to D.C. promptly squashed my motivation. Acting on impulse, I took to Facebook to make a serious-not-serious post.

Within 24 hours, the post had dozens of comments and likes — and just like that I had five other people signed on to go with me: two fellow Seattleites and three friends in Iowa, all equally filled with righteous feminist indignation.

That night I called my dad. He’d been reading the comments on my Facebook post with mounting concern over the prospect of his daughter going on a dead-of-winter road trip. He harangued me with horror stories of 30-car pile-ups and memorial crosses lining the sides of I-29. I’d grown up driving in harsh Iowan blizzards, so I understood the need to have a back-up plan to get to D.C.  He also didn’t understand why it was so important for me to be in D.C.

“You can do so much where you are,” he reasoned.

The Seattle area does offer multiple opportunities to get involved — including a Womxn’s March of its own — and I take advantage of them frequently (I knocked on doors and registered voters as a precinct committee officer this past election). But beyond my desire to stick it to “the man,” I feel an obligation to get out of the political bubble that is the Pacific Northwest. For those of us who placed ourselves comfortably in the echo chambers of our Facebook feeds during the 2016 election, or sat in our blue-island cities ignoring the swaths of red, rural America, it took the hard hit of the Trump/Pence victory to see how many Americans genuinely believe Trump’s divisive tactics will “Make America Great Again.”

So on Jan. 19, the three of us in Seattle are bypassing the storms battering the West Coast and jumping on a bargain flight to Omaha, Nebraska. There, we will meet up with the Iowa contingent in a rented SUV to make our cross-country feminist pilgrimage with hundreds of thousands of others.

This is so much more than an anti-Trump protest. The Women’s March on Washington is the start of a whole new wave of activism — a movement for equality I plan on being part of until the end. My hope is that, by gathering in our nation’s capital, our voices will be so deafening, our numbers so great, that the bureaucrats who run our country cannot ignore us.

Take part in the movement by joining a sister march in your area (find one here), and by following What’s Good 206 on Facebook and Instagram for live updates on Morgan’s trip.



Morgan McMurray

Morgan McMurray is a writer and editor based in Seattle. A 2013 graduate of Iowa State University, she has a Bachelor of Arts in English, Journalism, and International Studies.

Read more of her work on her personal blog and at Law Street Media.

More stories by Morgan McMurray

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God bless you and your travel companions. I am praying for your safe travel.

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