Protest marches embody the good of democracy and the beauty of freedom of speech coinciding with the right to assemble. It promotes the passion that individuals may feel towards a particular issue and recognizes voices– that have been looking to scream from the rooftops– while also educating and raising awareness. But my favorite part about these marches, specifically the political ones that spotlight sexism, is that it no longer has to remain an individual issue– there, it morphs into a sea of like-minded people. Uniting people who fight the same fight, who have felt alone in this increasingly unjust world? A beautiful concept in itself. You are one, surrounded by a mass of strong women, unified by your shared experiences, struggles, and the predisposed expectations burdened on many.
the Women’s March is an event for the history books; it offers an opportunity for people everywhere to progress a feminist movement that the brave women that came before us begun. In New York City that memorable January 19, 2019 day, you are powerful and strong, feeling not only capable, but compelled to be the best person you can be– how I believe women should feel everyday, regardless if it’s an official day to celebrate themselves.
The very fact that women’s marches occur is due to the combined history of oppression, deficit in opportunities, and limiting stereotypes that have over the course of time, and of course ranging in severity, continued to set up girls to be second to boys. Being at that march, I could look at the people around me, suddenly feeling like all of my daily battles and belittling encounters I’d run into were not only validated, but a reason to be upset. Those were people who know what it’s like to be treated delicately, like real opinions could break you. What it’s like to be judged or thought excessive for believing girls deserve equal rights to boys. How it feels to be subtly discouraged from masculine traits or manly paths. How the weight of double standards cripples the shoulders of women of all ages. Individuals who have dealt with equally-infuriating people who continue to deny injustice out of the comfort of their own privilege. What it feels like to be on the losing end time and time again, trying to catch up to people who had a head start. How stressful it is to balance academic expectations without threatening others’ own capability. Instead, what you can learn from an experience such as the women’s march is that if your potential is intimidating to people it doesn’t concern, this is a problem of their own insecurity.
half of the world population, that assembles instant family-like connections. Therefore it’s a funny but great thing, then, that women gain strength from the mistreatment that has since been confining or debilitating. This here is the power of the girl– taking oppression and turning it into opportunity to grow. I think this is one of the most important takeaways I got from the Women’s March. It’s important to note that closed-mindedness goes beyond seeing just the misogynistic values behind the words, but what caused these values to form.
Keep in mind that almost everyone is a product of outside influences and the buildup of gender conditioning taking its forceful toll; very few are able to consciously resist the urge of the status quo since it is prevalent in many to all situations. It is for people like above– who don’t know any better so simply regurgitate what their parents think, or what the media says, or the things their friends believe– that I march, and for all the girls alike to me– the ones I know and the ones on the other side of the world– who have yet to discover the superpower in being apart of the uprising gender.