Wednesday, August 15th, 2018

Our Opinion: One-year anniversary of the Women’s March

Lauren Kennedy

Posted on January 28, 2018 in Perspectives
By USM Free Press

Editorial Staff

Saturday Jan. 20 marked the one-year anniversary of the Women’s March, one of the largest demonstrations in U.S. history. The protests came just a day after President Trump was elected into office. One year later and the effort of the resistance is still going strong. Last weekend massive demonstrations took place in cities worldwide. March On, a political organization that was created after the first Women’s March, stated that this year approximately 1.5 million people participated in 486 marches and rallies.

While this year’s turnout nationwide was not nearly as high as last year, the fact that these demonstrations are continuing a year later shows the endurance of each activist. In fact there were approximately 8,700 marches, rallies and demonstrations across the U.S. this past year that were specifically protesting Trump. These U.S. citizens who are against Trump are resilient, and are not going to stop fighting for what they believe in.

These marches began as a way to celebrate women and show women’s discontent with their sexist president, but several other issues and topics became part of the protests. Everything from reproductive rights, freedom of religion, racial equality, healthcare reform and immigration rights were included in their efforts. The initial protests last year stemmed largely in part due to comments Trump made in an interview with Access Hollywood, where he made incredibly lewd comments about women and how he treats them. While Trump’s views on women remain the same today, there are other important issues that cannot be ignored as well.

The #MeToo movement, a hashtag campaign that gained popularity after women began sharing their Harvey Weinstein stories, as well as the Time’s Up initiative, was prevalent throughout this years’ marches. Many of the signs held up by protesters used those slogans to show their support. The timing of the Women’s March this year came just after Larry Nassar’s court hearings had begun, where 150 women and their families spoke up about his sexual abuse against young women. These major issues facing the country only spurred the passion of Women’s March protesters.

Many prominent celebrities joined forces during the marches, including ones who made memorable speeches, such as Whoopi Goldberg, who commented, “I love the fact that I cannot see the end of this,” in reference to the sheer size of the crowd. Jane Fonda spoke about the Time’s Up initiative in Park City, Utah. Singer Halsey delivered an emotional speech in New York City. Her speech ended up being a five-minute poem, and while it may have been quickly delivered, the impact of her words will have an everlasting effect. She opens up about her experiences supporting her friend who was sexually assaulted, as well as her own harrowing experiences. If there’s one thing to take away from the 2018 Women’s Marches, it’s Halsey’s performance. Her story is one that is all too common in this day and age, and shows exactly why to this day women will continue to march. Time is up and there needs to be a change.

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