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The March Heard ‘Round the World

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Just one day after the January 20th inauguration of President Donald Trump, half a million participants of the Women’s March flooded the streets of Washington D.C., a march that sparked over 600 sister marches in 81 countries as well as all seven continents (including Antarctica). According to the official Women’s March on Washington website, an estimated five million people advocated for women’s and LGBTQ+ rights, health care, immigration reform, the gender wage gap, xenophobia, and racial equality.

Thousands of people in a diverse crowd including men, women, and children toted around handmade signs with phrases like, “Love Trumps hate” and “Women’s rights are human rights.” Some wore costumes consisting of the Statue of Liberty, Abraham Lincoln, and Rosie the Riveter.

Several celebrities, including Madonna, Alicia Keys, Scarlett Johansson, and Ashley Judd made speeches or performed songs for the massive crowd. Judd’s recitation of a poem written by 19-year-old Nina Donovan of Nashville, titled “I am a Nasty Woman,” enticed roars from the marchers as she says, “I’m nasty like the battles my grandmothers fought to get me into that voting booth.” The “nasty woman” movement caught fire after the third presidential debate when then-candidate Donald Trump was seen interrupting opponent Hillary Clinton as she discussed taxes, commenting, “(She’s) Such a nasty woman.”

Some have found themselves asking, “What’s the point?” and even accusing participants of not knowing why they’re protesting. Some look at the march as futile resistance against recently-inaugurated Trump and his transition into the White House as 45th president, but for others, it’s much more than that. On Twitter, the hashtag #WhyIMarch was a trending topic allowing those who participated to share their stories. The official Women’s March Twitter shared a video under the hashtag with women saying, “I’m here because I want to be the voice of the unheard,” and, “I want our president to know that I’m proud of our diverse population.”

It’s no secret that the new president has quite the history regarding the comments he made about women, Planned Parenthood, Muslim people, and other minorities in recent and in past years. In one 1992 interview for New York Magazine while speaking with architect Philip Johnson, Trump said (of women), “You have to treat them like sh**.” On the topic of abortion, the now-president has also been quoted saying, “There has to be some form of punishment,” and of Planned Parenthood in a 2015 ‘Meet the Press’ interview, “I wouldn’t fund it if they have abortion going on.” Again in 2015, he controversially stated that he was calling for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”

To say that five million people marched around the world without reason or knowledge of what was being brought to light would be inaccurate. Some are concerned that the statements Mr. Trump made about women, minorities, and those of other religions granted him a get-out-of-jail-free card without repercussions. Some find themselves asking why these actions are simply not reason or justification enough for them to feel uneasy about his presidency, especially if they belong to one or more of the multiple minorities that he’s made these comments about. Perhaps it’s safe to say that those who attended knew exactly why they were marching despite the opinions and speculation of opposers.

But of course, this is not to say that we should not try to move forward from what has been done in the past. Whether you’re republican, democrat, liberal, or somewhere in between, here’s hoping that we, as a nation, have a positive four years ahead of us with President Trump.

 

Copyright © Cheyenne Prouty (2017) All Rights Reserved.

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