Standout Moments from the Women’s March 2018
Image: The Odyssey (https://www.theodysseyonline.com/nietzsche-womens-march)
On January 20th, 2018 thousands of women and men gathered in cities across the world to reprise last year’s impactful protest, all in an attempt to make a change. During the past twelve months, President Trump and his policies on key issues, especially those which have an impact on women, such as immigration, healthcare, and race, have continued to be protested with major force. The launch of the #MeToo movement at the end of last year, also helped to create a bigger conversation around the issues affecting women. This also meant that many of the speeches centred on sexual misconduct. By the end of the weekend, it was reported that over 250 marches and rallies had taken place globally, with the main anniversary event taking place in Las Vegas on January 21st.
Among all the people who turned out for the marches, there were several celebrities who were using their voices and status in the public eye to share their own experiences and bring attention to the cause. We have picked out and shared below some of the standout speeches from across the whole weekend!
Image: Pinterest (https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/293156256986527868/)
Perhaps one of the most talked about moments from the New York City march, American singer-songwriter Halsey delivered an emotional reading of a self-penned poem, ‘A Story Like Mine’, about her own experiences of sexual assault. Although it highlighted a dark reality for many women, it also gave a glimmer of hope, stating “This is the beginning, it is not the finale.” You can watch the whole video here:
Image: Pinterest (https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/536843218074591000/)
Actress Viola Davis is known for playing a powerful lawyer on TV’s How to Get Away with Murder and her speech from the Los Angeles march did not disappoint. The speech, which has since been shared many time online, highlighted some shocking statistics concerning rape and sex-trafficking: “One out of every five women will be sexually assaulted and raped before she reaches the age of 18. One out of six boys.” And emphasised how many of today’s issues have been present throughout history. Davis also brought in her personal story sharing: “I am always introduced as an award-winning actor. But my testimony is one of poverty. My testimony is one of being sexually assaulted and very much seeing a childhood that was robbed from me. And I know that every single day, when I think of that, I know that the trauma of those events are still with me today.” You can watch the video here:
Image: Pinterest (https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/575053446163195017/)
During the march in Los Angeles, Natalie Portman shared her personal experience of growing up in the film industry. The actress turned 12 on the set of her first film and described her excitement at seeing her acting for the first time, although this feeling quickly changed. “I excitedly opened my first fan-mail to read a rape fantasy that a man had written down… movie reviewers talked about my “budding breasts” in reviews.” She shared that she “understood very quickly even as a 13-year-old, if I were to express myself sexually, that I would feel unsafe, and that men would feel entitled to discuss and objectify my body, to my great discomfort.” The fact that Portman was a young teenager when her career began makes her testimony more hard-hitting, as she went on to describe how she felt she needed to change her behaviour to try and avoid this. Listen to the speech here:
Image: The Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/01/20/womens-march-draws-thousands-…)
During her speech in Los Angeles, actress Scarlett Johansson spoke of how proud she was to represent the Time’s Up organisation, and how important it was for all these women to come together. Like the majority, she shared her struggle in understanding how those in power can use their position to take advantage of others. The main reason Johansson’s speech has been hitting the headlines though is due to her calling out, although not by name, actor James Franco, who has recently been accused of sexual misconduct by several women. She stated: “My mind baffles, how could a person publicly stand by an organisation hat helps to provide support to victims of sexual assault, while privately preying on people who have no power? I want my pin back, by the way.” Listen to it here: