"Why I Marched" ~By Kira Bolos
In this photo my mom and I climbed up a fountain and were looking out at hundreds of thousands of marchers; the crowd extended literally as far as the eye could see. It was impossible not to get choked up, to not be moved by that sight. Everyone was kind, everyone was full of love, and everyone was fighting to protect one another. It was the largest sign of unity I have ever seen and likely will ever see, and the most beautiful part was that this is just the beginning of a fight we will not lose. This incredible experience and all the amazing women I met this weekend inspired me to share #WhyIMarch.
As a college student, I see and experience what happens to the women on my campus. We go to these parties and we keep one eye out for those men staring at us. We keep our drinks in our hands at all times because putting it down means we are a target. We go to bars where men touch our backs and grab our hips, and we don’t get a choice. We walk five minutes off campus and are cat called if we are alone. We walk home at night clutching our pepper spray, the whole time the “1 in 5” statistic ringing in our ears, permanently burned in our brains. It is not something we can escape. And maybe more terrifying than all of this, these instances where we are most uncomfortable are not even when we are most vulnerable. We are most vulnerable around the men we know and even trust. These women are scared, I am scared. And I am so tired of holding my breath and making myself small when an unknown man approaches me. Of having a slight alarm in my head whenever I start to have a close relationship with a male, because this is who I am taught to be afraid of. Most of all, I am tired of feeling LUCKY that I have not been assaulted—because it is absolutely unacceptable that this isn’t the norm.