The Voice of Women

Friday, January 20, 2017: He is inaugurated. We march.

Saturday, January 20, 2018: He marks one year in office. We march.

When you witness injustice, you have two choices. Be silent or stand up. I chose to stand up. To march.

In 2017, I felt helpless and broken knowing that a man like Donald Trump would be given the title of President of the United States. I felt scared knowing the power he would soon hold. I felt angry knowing he would influence and sway people with his money and intimidation. I didn’t know what to do. But the day after his inauguration, I took my power back. I marched.

Side by side with hundreds of other women, men, and children that felt the same way about injustice as I do, I marched in downtown Nashville. I chanted that “This is what Democracy looks like!”. I made my views loud and clear: Women are important. Women are strong. Women deserve respect. Women are equal.

I know that not everyone agrees with the feminist message. Many think we are anti-men, but that isn’t the case. We think that women deserve the same pay, opportunities, and respect as men. We are undervalued in a society where some men think that our “proper place” is in the kitchen. We are still called a ‘bitch’ or ‘bossy’ for being a strong leader. We still have to tell our daughters to not walk alone at night, to carry pepper spray, to not wear that skirt she loves. None of these things are okay. This is not the world we want for our future generations. So, we march. We spread our message and tell Donald Trump that misogyny and sexism have no place in our world and certainly no place in our White House.

One year later, we are back in downtown Nashville. Countless women have come forward to reveal that they have been the victim of sexual assault and misconduct. This wave started the #MeToo Movement. Thousands of women have told their stories and we bear witness to them. Now, we are trying to stop any other women from having to say, “Me too”. This is why we march. We march for the little girl who wants to be a superhero, not a Barbie. We march for the women who get called a bitch for being the boss. We march for every woman that says, “Me too,” and every woman that says it silently every day. We march for justice. We march for change.

I feel so lucky to have been a part of this march for two years now. I have met some great friends, and I have heard the stories of many powerful women. Personally, I march in honor of the women in my life. My mom. My grandmothers. My sister-in-law. My best friends. They all deserve the same respect that men receive. I hope for a day that little girls don’t question their value or feel ashamed of themselves for being who they are.

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."  - Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

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Ashley Harris is currently a sophomore at Belmont Univerity, hailing from Hampton Roads, Virginia. She is majoring in Publishing with a minor in English Writing. She hopes to end up working at a publishing house in NYC, publishing books for children and young adults. She has an affinity for the Christmas/Holiday season, punk rock music, and cool tattoos. You can find her in the nearest bookstore or petting the nearest dog. She also has an ESA resuce cat named Luna!

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