Why We March

Starting to write this article puts me near a loss for words as passion and frustration collide. This is due to the fact that in a world of chaos and divide, people seem to still shutter at the sight of unity. I am talking about the Women’s March of 2018.

Both marches I was unable to attend, but still sent support. I was proud and touched by the thousands of people not just in the United States, but all over the globe showing support for women. However, with all this love came backlash as well. Posts of hate and mockery spread like wildfire throughout social media, with some women even posting hashtags like #NotMyMarch. It baffles me how women supporting women can be seen by some as so absurd.  

Some minds can’t be changed, but for those who truly don’t understand why we march or how it impacts the world we live in, let me shed some light:

 

Equality in the Workplace

The second you mention the pay gap, I’m sure a man will try and tell you it’s a myth - I’m here to assure you that it’s not. I’m reminded of my first job at a well-known establishment that I will keep nameless for legal reasons. I started there at the age of fifteen and signed numerous papers as all jobs require, but came across one page that sent bells off. One of the lines stated that if we were ever to question our pay compared to others, we would be fired immediately. Now this was my first job, and as a little fifteen-year old girl in a room full of other trainees and the boss, I was not about to question it. Besides this was my first job - maybe I was just being naive?  

After about a year, one of my fellow employees - a male - opened his paycheck next to me in the break room and laid it on the table in front of me. He had started only a few weeks ago, and made $8.00 compared to my $7.25. I knew him well, so I asked him if that was his starting rate - and he answered yes.  I then went on to ask my other male friend across the room if it was the same for him; he also answered yes. As I dug deeper, I learned that the boys always had a higher starting rate than the girls.

Last semester, I was also angry to learn that on average, women working in public relations (my field of study) only make 50-75% of what men do. If you’d like to fight me on this fact, simply do a Google search and multiple credible resources will appear.

 

 

Human Rights

Now this can range from a number of things: from a woman’s right to her own body, to their boss deciding whether their insurance will cover birth control due to their own religious reasons; Donald Trump is currently working to change the rule that forbids a company from denying coverage based on religious or moral reasons.

Let me remind you: contraceptives are used for far more reasons than just birth control, and the government wants to allow companies to dictate whether you can have this medication or not. They want to not only eliminate access to places such as Planned Parenthood, but also deny women the right to a late-term abortion. The main reason women get late-term abortions is for health crises, such as the mother being at risk for death, so women could quite literally die if this is allowed to become law.

 

#MeToo

Is there anymore I have to say besides this hashtag? People seem to be angry that this has become a “thing,” but how do you think women feel? How do you think those who are finally getting the courage to come out and hold those abusers accountable feel?  You’ve seen the impact and the truth emerge - the march shows victims that they’re not alone, and that for their abusers, time’s up. Why would anyone want to turn this into anything but a victory?

 

LGBTQA

The most recent attack on the LGBTQA community was when Donald Trump tried to block transgender individuals from joining the military. Vice President Mike Pence also has been known for his homophobia and contributing to conversion therapy groups. Many marched in support of the community and to show our alliance in not allowing this discrimination to stand.

I could go on. The fight for equality is still a battle. You don’t have to look far for reasons to march. We’re in a battle for recognition and support from a president that not only continues to look the other way, but has also harassed and belittled women his entire life.  

I encourage you to listen to speeches from these rallies, including Halsey’s powerful poem which can be found here.

Hold the hands of those finding their voice and rip down the walls that protect the abusers.  In the meantime, we’ll continue to march.

 

Times up.