On January 20st, exactly a year since Donald Trump assumed the office of president, anti-Trump demonstrators took to the streets to protest the policies and attitudes shown by the Trump White House over the course of the past year. With signs and chants, they proudly marched across the United States of America. These protesters most likely left the demonstration satisfied that they were not alone in their discontent with the current state of the issue of women’s rights. However, was this satisfaction short-lived? Is it warranted?
The Women’s March of 2017 was the largest demonstration in American history. 700,000 people marched in Washington, D.C. alone. It was impossible to go through the day without seeing a picture of a classmate or friend with his or her sign on Instagram or seeing an article about the magnitude of such an event posted on a website. Even so, Trump has maintained his position as the President of the United States.
Despite ensuring that every girl would feel both empowered and free to achieve their dreams under his administration, Trump has gone out of his way to make life even more difficult for American women. Ever since he assumed office, he has made it harder for women to get birth control, has halted efforts to fix the pay gap, and has disbanded the White House Council on Women and Girls. In the end, Donald Trump has not made America great again for half of the country.
This year, the Women’s March established a theme: Power to the Polls. As 2018 is a noteworthy election year, the organizers found it imperative that they focus not only on the injustices that all women, especially women of color and women of the LGBT community, face, but also on the hope of the present situation. The current administration has shown no mercy while eliminating opportunities for women across the country. The people hold the power in a democracy like ours and with their vote, they themselves have the ability to make America safe for women.
With that in mind, it is easy to see the intended effects of this year’s Women’s March. Last year’s protest was formed to comfort women in a time of uncertainty, this year’s march is an effort to empower women in a time of fear. This demonstration is to encourage citizens to rise up against those who have remained indifferent to their struggles. To not remain silent, to reclaim their time, and to stand up for all that do not have a voice.
We will see later this year if these rallying cries have been heard and received by the country. That being said, it is hard to ignore the emotional and cultural impact such a movement has had on modern United States of America. As a female student in this country, I am filled with pride and courage to see my friends, teachers, and total strangers standing up for me. That is where I believe the power in this movement is: how every girl can identify with the struggles and obstacles presented to every female in the United States. In my eyes, women are winning. So, in a word: yes, the Women’s March is still relevant. I look forward to seeing women and men proclaiming the power and courage of every single girl not only in the United States, but also around the world next January.
arts and culture editor
Graphics: Evie Cullen