“The future is female.”, “ We aren’t ovary-acting” and “ Women’s rights are human rights” are just a few of the many signs you could see at this year’s Women’s March. After last year when millions came out to protest, progressive women and men took to the streets for a second time to advocate for what they believe in.
Last year, the march was 5 million strong with movements happening on all seven continents. All different kinds of people rallied together advocating for the human rights and dignity for all. Inspired by the peaceful ideals of the Civil Rights movement, the 2017 Women’s March was the largest coordinated protest in US History.
This year, an estimated 200,000 people attended the march in New York City on January 20th with thousands of others marching in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Washington, Chicago, Las Vegas and more. Mixed into the masses you can find famous faces like Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman and Sophia Bush, who all used their platform to make their voices heard through speeches and posts on social media.
What made people come out on this cold January morning to march through the streets? According to the Women’s March official website, they have a few unity principles that exemplify the beliefs of the movement. A major belief of the movement is in reproductive rights for people of all places and incomes. Quality reproductive healthcare services, birth control, medically accurate sexual education and abortion should be safe, legal and affordable. Also, another premise is that LGBTQ+ rights are human rights and that we should live in a society free of gender norms and stereotypes. In addition, another aspect is the belief in equal pay, healthcare, paid family leave and healthy work environments which all fall into the category of worker’s rights. Another belief is in Immigrant Rights, with no human being considered illegal. When America promised refuge to the huddled masses yearning to breathe free they did not intend for it to be exclusive to people of certain countries of origin. Additionally, they’re determined to end violence, whether in cases of police brutality or ending inequities in the criminal justice system. Everyone deserves to live a full, safe and healthy life. The last major premise involves protecting our planet. They believe that the environment and climate must be protected and that our natural resources cannot be exploited. These categories are the main issues that Women’s March protesters were marching for, but there are so many more that march attendees also hold dear.
The stigmatism and resentment towards the Women’s March stem from the misconceptions that it is a march simply against Trump and that it is just a bunch of women who think they are superior to men. In reality, it is a powerful yet peaceful movement that calls for equal treatment for all. It is a gathering of all kinds of progressive people who will not stand for men of power mistreating women in the workplace, the government telling women what they can and cannot do to their own bodies, the ignorance to the apparent changing climate, and so much more.
The ideals of the Women’s March should not only be found on cardboard signs you see pictures of on your Instagram feed. The messages of nonviolence and equal treatment of all should be implemented in our everyday lives. As for the larger issues that plague our society; if you are not outraged, you’re not paying attention.