Five lovely ladies share their reflections on the Women’s March. Massive thank you to everyone who submitted. All the love, x.
It was black and cold and dark and I felt uncomfortable. Sitting there in the corner with my hands wrapped around my knees. I curled up with my mom on the couch like those days when I had fallen and scraped my knee, going to ask her to kiss it better. I wanted her to kiss it better. But the whole world was scraped up and we all needed to be tended to. There was nothing she could do. The warm hands of a matriarch were helpless now. Disabled by the cold chill of rewinding progress. After the election everything was black.
And then came the day of the march. My mind started racing and I felt my body walking parallel to the hollowed ground that holds up America. I was stung by crystals of water that begged my skin to rise into little goosebumps. It was the snow and the energy that sent a tingle through my skin, past my bones, straight to my bloodstream. My humble fingers were on the edge of my paper sign and I was speaking. I walked next to a dear friend: a rebel in her own soft-spoken yet assured way. She held up a sign that boasted protection and equality and I was lost in the gaze of her silent determination. My mom’s warm matriarchal hands were there too. It was all of the pink signs and white snow that drowned out the gray of the winter light. For the first time in months I wasn’t wrapped up in a ball. I felt like I was actually doing something. Like my message was being heard. And I was surrounded by likeminded people saying similar things, all in the theme of equal rights for women, for immigrants, the LGBTQ community, Muslims, Blacks, the poor. I knew then why fish swim in schools. I knew that I was proud of the person that I am and of the people with whom I surround myself. That day I received messages from people saying that it was pointless, that the President wasn’t going to do anything radical – although he has. Marching and demanding to be heard that day was the opposite of pointless. It was mobility after months of sitting down. It was humanity fighting for the humanity of our country. It was pink and it was beautiful.
Anna Grayson, 16
If you’ve kept up with this blog, you might remember Alex saying “I am terrified.” This quote, to which I (and many others) can correlate to, is what I think may be the cause of this movement for women’s rights.
Living in a society like the one we do today, I think I have the right to say “I am terrified.” Because I am. And so are many others. The way not only women are treated, but also other religions, people of color, people who stray away from the norm, is hands down absolutely “terrifying.”
But, with this fear, people across the world have been able to stand up and protest (peacefully) for what they believe in. People are trying to create and see the change that they wish to see, and in some ways, they are succeeding. The term “the future is female,” demonstrates exactly that. A switch seems to have occurred in the brains of women across the globe, and have they figured out that enough is enough.
And I am so immensely lucky to be able to say that I have been able to see all of this in action. On January 22nd, I was able to participate in the Salt Lake City’s women’s march with over 10,000 other people. I am able to say that I was part of history, and was able to experience it all through my camera lens. (Check out some of my shots below, for a view of it from my perspective)
The world isn’t black and white. It never was, and it never will be. And at the moment, things are looking grey. But as long as everyone keeps standing up for what they believe, no matter who you are, all while knowing that even one, single person, full of passion and resistance, can make a difference, then we will be able to turn the grey to color. Sure, it will take time, but we seem to have all the time in world.
And I cannot wait to see what happens next, because I believe that everyone, not only from this generation but of all generations, will be able to do something extraordinary.
Elli Dark, 16
My first approach to this assignment was a long, rambling summary of my decision to finally voice my opinions and attend a march for equality, but as I read over my words, I decided that there was a much simpler, minimalistic way of putting things. So I have taken my jumbled thoughts and put them into just a few words because I believe in the power of simplicity.
After attending the women’s march, i have attempted to summarize what I felt into three words: beautiful, unifying, liberating
As long as we are constantly striving to fight for equality for the world at large, nothing but good can come from it, and as I stood there at the Capitol with thousands of women and men wanting only good for each other, I felt nothing but hope that maybe our disaster of a world can be helped if we continue to raise our voices and fight for what we know to be good.
I was sitting in my bathroom thinking about all of the pain and discomfort minorities are facing at this exact moment with all of these terrifying acts being put in place and a thought came into my head and I don’t know who said it or where I heard it but I know that someone has mentioned something to the extent that there is danger in comfort, or the most change happens in discomfort. Being a woman or a person of color or any minority of any sort is really hard and absolutely scary, but it also brings about the most potential to change the world. When you are uncomfortable, you have the motivation and drive to change things for yourself and those in similar situations, and so I think that as a woman it is my job to embrace this discomfort that the world is pouring over me and turn it into something good for everyone feeling the same way I am. There is beauty and promise in discomfort and accepting that and using that to motivate change and love and beauty is the first step to achieving change for women and the world as a whole.
Sadie Olsen, 20
A revolution is not only defined with protests and marches. Every step, large or small, is a revolutionary step. As of late, humans have been joining hands and fighting for what they recall is worth the action. The biggest events as of recently have been the many Women’s Marches across the U.S. Women (and men and others) have been battling the new laws and ideas being put into place by our current president.
Personally, as a female millennial, I believe that these marches and protests have been exceptionally liberating to all those attending. I attended my own Women’s March in Salt Lake City. Cheering on my fellow human beings surrounding me felt empowering and inspiring. Although this experience was something I could never neglect, that march was not the end for me.
I didn’t only attend this march to be there for my sisters and their reproductive rights, but it was to fight for all whose lives, citizenship, and safety is at stake. Marching once is not the end for me and I hope it is not the end for you. Revolution does not come naturally. It starts with one person. Signing petitions, calling a senator, or simply spreading awareness are all progress toward a better society. Not all steps have to be colossal.
The term “the future is female” has been misconstrued. Whilst this expression can represent great meaning, I understand why many can take offense to it. In my eyes, I see that phrase as a way of stating that this country (or any country) should not be administered by one gender. “The future is female” does not indicate that we, women, are trying to create our own matriarchy. We simply are implying, “Hey. Watch out for us ladies because we won’t stand for a patriarchal government.” In the end, this movement is about equality of all people. This movement is about change for the people and our environment.
Brindy Francis, 16
Being a young woman in the year 2017, I often struggle with knowing how to take action and fighting the restrictions I face. Before me, my mother also wondered how to take action and how to break way from a restrictive mold. When she was born, her father faced similar question but also questioned what kind of life his daughter would have. I expect my father had similar concerns. The fight for equality and freedom is a global issue and has affected all genders throughout the world; it is a battle that is continually occurring. More than 1 in 100 Americans attended the “Women’s March” nationwide. Not only did this Inaugural protest receive national news coverage, but it also reached a global scale. 90 different countries from the United States had their own women’s march. However, these massive protests, such as the women’s march, are no stranger to the feminist community.
The first wave of women suffrage started as early as 1830’s, with the fight of equal contract and property rights. The second wave was more demanding. From 1960-1980, women focused on the workplace, sexuality, family, and reproductive rights. During a time when the United States was already trying to restructure itself, many thought that feminists had achieved “equality.” From getting the basic right to vote, to currently fighting for equal pay; vision and motivation is what pushed women to fight for their basic human rights.
It’s becoming more, and more evident that the future is female. It’s hard to imagine taking steps back in our fight for equality when we have accomplished so much. The battles our mothers and grandmothers have endured are not unavailing, as a unified group, we will not allow anyone to take our accomplishments away from us. Out of the 318.9 million Americans, females make up to 50.8%.
Feminists have proven time and time again that they will not go down without a fight. In Poland, anti-abortion laws were passed and the protests began. Over 30,000 people gathered together to refuse this law. The Liberal MP and former prime minster Ewa Kopacz told reports they had feared the amount of women participating in the protests. Ten s of thousands of people boycotted work and classes on Monday to protest against the the proposals. The protests were bigger than anyone expected and they were a prime example of how many underestimate unified power. The protests were successful and the bills were finally dropped. This incident is just one of the many examples (similar to the women’s march) of the effectiveness of unified power.
Showing how we can all come to together to fight for human rights is what being a feminist is all about. The power of raising our voices and demanding to be heard is how change happens. This is not a small movement. Worldwide, women have come together to fight for the same rights. I encourage everyone to join a parch or protest. The energy of the crowd is exhilarating and inspiring. Knowing you are part of a movement, and making a difference, is inestimable.
Alexandra Irvin, 17
Evermore, thank you to these bright individuals (as well as many others) that stand up for what they believe in. Please remember, you have a voice and you are capable of change.