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Women’s March, outlet to “Inauguration frustration”

Protesters+gather+around+an+American+flag%2C+near+the+start+of+the+march+at+Union+Station.+Nearly+20%2C000+people+marched+from+Union+Station+to+the+Arch+in+support+of+women%27s+rights.+
Protesters gather around an American flag, near the start of the march at Union Station. Nearly 20,000 people marched from Union Station to the Arch in support of women's rights.

Protesters gather around an American flag, near the start of the march at Union Station. Nearly 20,000 people marched from Union Station to the Arch in support of women's rights.

Travis Armknecht

Travis Armknecht

Protesters gather around an American flag, near the start of the march at Union Station. Nearly 20,000 people marched from Union Station to the Arch in support of women's rights.

Caroline Knapp, Staff Writer

On January 21st of 2017, feminists from all over the world, both men and women, will gather in Washington D.C. to march for gender equality. Fortunately for the people who can’t make it to D.C. to march, similar women’s marches are taking place all over the country on that day as well, including one in St. Louis. These marches and the message they send are more important than many people can fathom; they signify not only gender equality, but everything that encompasses: equal pay, reproductive rights, sexual assault prevention, and many more elements that contribute to equal rights.

According to https://www.womensmarch.com/partners/ , the march already has partnered with over one hundred organizations including Amnesty International, Girls Republic, Human Rights Campaign, the NAACP, Planned Parenthood, the Trayvon Martin Foundation, Women for Women International, and countless other highly respected organizations. The march has already reached over $1,510,000 in donations according to https://www.crowdrise.com/womens-march-on-washington/fundraiser/womens-marchon-washington. At the top of the website’s “Mission & Vision” section is the quote,

“We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families – recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country”.

The mission section then goes on to discuss the insult, threat, and hatred aimed at specific groups, such as the LGBTQ community and Muslims, of the past election and how the march aims to combat and fight that discrimination. The website goes on to state,

“We call on all defenders of human rights to join us.” showing that the march’s main focus is on protecting the human rights of women.

Feminism: The political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. Contrary to popular belief, feminism does not mean that women should be valued higher than men; it simply means that men and women should be equal.

Ever since I was younger, feminism has been something I’ve been hugely passionate about. Both my mom and dad never discouraged me from pursuing whatever I was interested in. I wanted to be a lawyer? I could do that. I wanted to be a surgeon? Of course that was doable. I wanted to be a ballerina astronaut? There was no doubt in their minds that I could do it. Being raised with this encouragement blinded me to the blatant sexism in our country. I never once doubted my abilities because of my gender. So when I found out that there were jobs that people believed women couldn’t do and certain colors that people believed girls shouldn’t like, I couldn’t fathom that people would ever think that way. I consider myself to have been a feminist from a young age; ever since I was first exposed to sexism.

Today, I still consider myself to be a diehard feminist, and this past election has me worried about the future of women’s equality. Going to the women’s march in St. Louis is important to me because it gives me the opportunity to make my voice heard and march with thousands of other people who have the same beliefs as I do. According to the St. Louis Women’s March Facebook page, over 8,600 people are interested in going, and over 6,500 are confirmed to be going. This march will give St. Louisans the opportunity to march with thousands of others who feel the same way they do about the future of gender equality and the new political administration.

The march is happening the day after the inauguration to send a message to the new Trump administration that we will never back down in the fight that women’s rights are human rights and are not to be interfered with. The website states that,

“The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us… We are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear.”

In response to these threats and impending fear, we will peacefully protest to show that we will never stop fighting for equal rights. The march being the day after the inauguration also gives people a chance to let out their anger and frustration about the inauguration the day before in a positive and productive way.

To me, this march symbolizes the gathering of people all over the world to advocate for gender equality and equal rights in general. Attending the march is so important because the more people there are, the stronger the message is sent to the movement’s opposition. Attending the march will also make people feel as if they are doing something about their frustration and sadness surrounding the past election. Instead of sitting at home and sulking, they will actually be vocalizing their frustrations and doing something about it. This march will go down in history as one of the most important peaceful protests of all time in the fight for equal rights.

* I never imagined that I could feel so much hope for our country again, but marching with thousands of people who envisioned the same future for America as I do made an unbelievable difference in my outlook. Simply being around these people gave me hope. It was an opportunity that I will never forget and I am beyond grateful to have had that experience

*= This editorial has been updated and concludes any after thoughts and feelings about this event.

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Women’s March, outlet to “Inauguration frustration”