The Resonating Power of the Women’s March
By: Allyson Roche ’19
One year after an unprecedented number of people around the world took to the streets in support of women’s rights and in protest of Donald Trump’s Inauguration, 600,000 people flooded the streets of Los Angeles to support women’s rights once again.
Among the hundreds of events planned across the country, the Los Angeles Women’s March had the largest attendance.
The sea of pink signs and hats emerged from the metro station at Pershing Square and made its way to Grand Park, where City Hall is located. Celebrities, singers, elected officials, and activists alike addressed the fired-up crowd following the march. Viola Davis, Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, and Allison Janney were among the most anticipated speakers.
Last year’s march served as a way to express grief and anger for those who opposed the Donald Trump presidency.
This year, however, the march was a call to action. Many attendees’ signs read “grab ‘em by the midterms” and “hear our vote”. Almost every speaker urged the crowd to vote in the midterm elections, in hopes of taking over seats held by Trump supporting incumbents.
The march also took place during the wave of the #MeToo and “Time’s Up” movements, a time where men and women have been publicly vocalizing their stories of sexual harassment and assault. Through signs and speeches, attendees and speakers alike tackled these issues.
Viola Davis said, “I am speaking today not just for the ‘Me Too’s’ because, I was a ‘Me Too,’ but when I raise my hand, I am aware of all the women who are still in silence. The women who are faceless. The women who don’t have the money and don’t have the constitution and who don’t have the confidence and who don’t have the images in our media that gives them a sense of self-worth enough to break their silence that’s rooted in the shame of assault.”
First time Women’s March attendee Emily Bradley said, “I march for the many causes that this movement supports. The reason why this march is so empowering is because there is no one issue being supported or protested against; it’s about protecting a variety of human rights issues like Black Lives Matter, ending gun violence, equal pay, LGBT rights, access to healthcare especially for women, environmental protection, and so many more.”
Mars Horner ‘18 said, “To me the march is not just for women, but for everybody who has ever felt left like they were lesser than a person, and I march to promote respect and love for all people… In my view, it’s about reiterating the point that respect and acceptance are among the myriad of basic rights that every single person on earth deserves.”
The power of the Women’s March continued to resonate with Americans a year later, and organizers are hoping their message of “Hear Our Vote” will linger with attendees at the polls in November.