When I first thought of writing about this year’s presidential inauguration, I admit that I was not thrilled. Though it was my idea, I didn’t like the prospect of having to watch a discriminatory man take the oath to protect and uphold the values of our country. But I deemed it a necessary story to tell. A story that documents how much work still needs to be done in America in order to overcome the prejudices that plague us. This pessimistic outlook didn’t stay with me long. Instead, I was filled with an overwhelming sense of hope when the women’s marches began the day after Trump’s inauguration. And that was a story I deemed more worthy of my attention—a story of inspiration. A story of women across the world coming together.
This march of millions is more than your simple protest. It is a brave war, waged against all that limits any woman has experienced in her life. It is resistance against the idea that being anything other than a white, heterosexual, cisgender man some how demeans your value. The Women’s March, headed by three women of color named Tamika D. Mallory, Carmen Perez, and Linda Sarsour, succeeded in giving voices to those marginalized groups who will be most affected by Trump’s administration. In all three of their lives, Trump’s racism and sexism has had deeply personal effect. Especially for Perez and Sarsour’s lives, whose lives are literally threatened by Trump’s “Mexican wall” and “Muslim ban”. These three women were essential in creating a culture of solidarity for people to protest.
The Women’s March was open to any supporter, and anyone who sought to challenge the prejudices of our new administration. But it also caused a reflection on the privileges we all have. For example, I am a white, cisgender woman. I have experienced sexism regularly, but other than that I don’t endure discrimination for my race or sexuality. This march was a reminder that problems such as racism and sexism are inextricably tied. They have to be eradicated simultaneously. This march was a reminder to me that though we have so far to go, the journey is not hopeless. According to multiple news outlets, more than three million people walked across the world protesting Trump. Three million people decided that hate is not the answer, and to me, that’s a reason to not lose hope.
Unfortunately, I could not attend the Women’s March in Boston, but wherever I went yesterday, it felt different. The air had a sense of frustration, but it wasn’t hopeless. Yes, I do not believe our situation is ideal. But in the eyes of my friends and my classmates who marched yesterday, I knew we all shared the hope and the determination needed to prevent Trump and his cabinet’s vitriolic hatred to infect every part of our country. Not only in Boston, but in numerous cities, women stood up and recognized their own worth in the face of an administration who views us as lesser. Newsflash to Trump’s administration and their supporters: I am not lesser because I am a woman. I am more than what you think of me. I am more. I am more because I exist successfully in spite of the fact that you aim to diminish me through every possible means. The Women’s March is about this exact idea: that no matter how hard you may try to diminish us, we will continue to fight and be heard. We refuse to let you diminish us, and we refuse to be anything other than survivors.