Over the weekend marking Trump’s first year in office, 250 cities across the United States and some around the world hosted historically huge crowds for the second year in a row at the Women’s March. Attenders advocated for women’s rights and equality for all.
“Power to the polls” was the main focus this year, urging women to vote in elections and hoping to put more women in power for more representation in politics. Previously, 2017’s march largely focused on protests of President Trump’s election. Roughly 4.5 million people attended worldwide. This year, over a million people attended in the US alone: they sported signs and shirts stating, among hundreds of other messages, “The Future is Female.”
Others, including actress Lupita Nyong’o, wore accessories declaring “Times Up,” playing on Oprah Winfrey’s moving speech at the Golden Globes. In this speech, Winfrey mentioned the great need for people everywhere to stand up to those who discriminate against and harm others. This is exactly what Women’s Marches are doing.
Cydney Kirby, a senior who attended Knoxville’s march, stated, “…we are a large and unwavering group [who] want and need a change.” Among other reasons, Kirby attended the march because “…it is an event where [she] can freely express [her] beliefs knowing know that those around [her feel] the same way.” Kirby, along with a few other members of CHS, shared their motivations and hopes around the march.
Elle Baldriche, freshman, and Grace Knight, senior also attended the march because of the unity they experienced with so many other people who felt the same as they did.
Knight plans to become an engineer, but has noticed that despite “…more women becoming engineers, they are still paid significantly less.” She believes that these marches could help others to understand that a woman can be “…more than just a housewife, and [she thinks] it can prove that we can do a lot more than just stay at home. We can be political leaders and engineers.”
March attenders ran the spectrum: women, men, kids, young, old, even lots of dogs sporting signs of support. Mr. Turner, math teacher, attended with his wife and fellow CHS teacher in order to represent the idea that issues of women’s rights affect everyone; that men, especially, need to be a part of positive changes. He enjoyed seeing so many other men there supporting the amazing women in their lives.
The Women’s March provides an outlet for people everywhere to shout out the change they demand to see in the world. They want others to see them as a force to be reckoned with because they are equal to men and just as capable to do everything they do. Without women, men would not be here and that is reason enough to respect womankind.