Women's March inspires change


Graphic by Jai Khurana

Rebecca Kellstein

The Women’s March is a positive influence on not only women, but the population as a whole. It lets women know that they are not alone and that, despite their president’s refusal to address their struggles, they have a voice. The Women’s March is a worldwide protest that defends basic human rights, which are being violated by President Donald Trump’s administration.
Last year’s march has turned into an annual march because there are still many changes to be made. The march did make people more aware, but nothing has changed in terms of why people marched last year.
While 2.6 million people marched last January in the first Women’s March, only 250,000 people showed up at Trump’s inauguration the day before. Crowds across the country are protesting the sexual harassment and assault facing women, as the world continues down this path. This march is not only in support of women, but also in humanity. People are marching for a better future because they realize that if we stay on the current pathpolitical, environmental or otherwisewe will make this world dangerous for future generations.
The movement stands for dismantling “the gender and racial inequities within the criminal justice system,” working toward “freedom from sexual violence,” ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment that would “guarantee equal protection based on gender,”  exercising “the right to organize and fight for a living minimum wage,” speaking out about police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement, standing in “solidarity with sex workers’ rights movements,” and supporting “comprehensive reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, and immigrant and refugee rights.”
Similar to last year’s march, this year’s brought four million people together to march up and down streets, chanting “Donald Trump! Go away! Racist, sexist, anti-gay!” and, “Hey hey! Ho ho! Donald Trump has got to go!” Considering the number of people who have marched this year and last year, one would think that Trump would finally get the message and respond with something positive. Instead, he made a statement via Twitter, remarking on the “Beautiful weather” and bragging “Lowest female unemployment in 18 years!”  
As a woman fighting for equality, I’m quite upset with the lack of leadership and understanding Trump is displaying. In the Tweet, he doesn’t address any of the reasons for why people marched. He describes it as a celebration, but he doesn’t realize that it is a rally fueled by frustration. He doesn’t understand that we will be unable to progress as a nation until Trump recognizes major problems such as protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families, recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country. Instead of making a sizeable change, he sticks to his own agenda by acting in his best interest, not ours.
During this march, The hashtag, #MeToo, was trending on Twitter. Alyssa Milano, an actress and activist, said in a tweet, “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted, write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet.” More than 53,000 people tweeted in response, telling their story of rape, sexual assault, and harassment, to anyone who would listen, hoping that they can convince others to make a change as well. One response was from Sheryl Crow, a woman who was subjected to inequality, on the road during her tour, said “#MeToo” “A manager on my first big tour as a backup singer. When I went to a lawyer he told me to suck it up bc the guy could do a lot for me.” Women like Sheryl Crow should not be brought down by powerful men who need to learn that no means no!
Last year’s march was more about marching for freedom and equality, but this year’s march was about trying to capture more attention from the people, and from the government we need to move forward and re-evaluate how to prevent occurrences like sexual harassment and inequality in our daily lives. We are marching for everyone, to show that we still have a voice to try to make a change in this world and to make our future a safe place where we can be free and equal.