One Year After The Women's March

One year ago, three of my closest girlfriends and I packed up a Ford Escape with hand-painted signs, about twenty homemade peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and the will for our mighty female voices to be heard throughout the streets of Washington D.C. The GPS said it would be a twelve-hour drive from Milwaukee, so we left at 8:00 pm and drove into the capital at 8:00 am. Our perseverance to be a part of the largest protest in US history keep the tires rolling. Overly caffeinated and full of excitement, we were ready to march with over one million people down the streets of Washington D.C. 

What are you marching for? There will never be an exact answer to that question, because the answer is different for everyone who marched that day. Some were marching for equal pay, against police brutality, racial injustice, to put a face to sexual assault and harassment, sexism and ageism in the workplace, LGBTQ+ rights...the list is endless. What was so profound and amazing about the Women's March is you did not have to be marching for just one of these reasons, you marched for change, for resistance, and for a better future for our country.  

We marched with women, men and children from all walks of life; chanting, singing and even crying together. There was something in the air on that cold January day, I believe it was a sense of hope and unity. That day, those pink filled streets, and the faces of love and strength with forever be in my mind, and I am so thankful we took that trip to the capitol. 

Now it is exactly one year after the first Women's March, and this is a good time to ask: has anything changed? I would say yes, but there is still a lot of work to be done. Seeing over one million people marching the streets for female empowerment, resilience, and change may have given women and men the strength and confidence to talk about and discuss the injustices happening in their own lives.  

In 2017, over forty male Hollywood elites were accused of sexual assault and harassment, prominent names including Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K. and Harvey Weinstein. In the midst of the accusations, the #metoo movement exploded over Twitter and Facebook. By using the hashtag, women and men would tell their very personal stories of sexual assault and harassment. Another movement that came about during this time was the Time's Up movement. Celebrities across the entertainment world wore all black and Time's Up pins to the People's Choice Awards, this was an act of solidarity towards the men in Hollywood that took advantage of women. Many of the celebrities gave out facts and told their own stories about sexual harassment in Hollywood when interviewed in the red carpet. 

Though these movements may not have a direct correlation with the Women's March, I believe that the Women's March did help encourage and start the conversation regarding sexual assault and harassment. As stated earlier, people marched for many different reasons, and if we keep marching and bringing our voices to the forefront for LGBTQ+ rights, racial injustice, equal pay, and many more issues more movements and stories can be told. Without the Women's March, the door for open conversation about these issues may not be opened as wide.