In 1920 when the 19th Amendment was instated it was seen as a significant achievement for women. On January 22, 1973 when Roe v Wade was decided women finally seemed to have some say in the care of their bodies when it came to pregnancy. And now, on January 21, 2017 women have taken to marching on Washington to protect the rights we have fought so hard to gain.
Through the election season, honestly in 2016 in general, we witnessed the man who was elected our Commander in Chief tell us that he wanted to defund Planned Parenthood, say that he just "grabbed women by the p***y", and we learned that he had been involved in sexual assault cases of his own. We watched as a Stanford swimmer get away with raping a girl, and she was expected to serve as much time in jail as he was for "annoying the police." And we listened to Betsy DeVos not commit to enforcing the mandatory reporting of sexual assaults that happen on college campuses.
What was the Women's March really about?
The Women's March was started to create a sense of unity. We are not trying to create divisions. It was meant to be a civil action for women, no matter who you voted for, to start a discussion. Showing that we no longer want to be complacent in society. We care about what is going on in the world. We don't just want to be entertained by Hollywood.
Trump getting elected was probably a good thing in the way that it has created civil action. It has caused millions of Americans to get up off the couch and to share their voice. To get into contact with our representatives and to make our voices heard. We have always had this privilege. The right voice our concerns and opinions. But it was in the fear if it being taken away that millions got up and done something instead of bitching about what is wrong with our nation.
Why did I support the Women's March and those who participated in it?
Because I support Planned Parenthood and the service they provide. Planned Parenthood doesn't simply provide abortions for unwanted pregnancy, but it provides sex ed classes for teenagers. They provide testing for STDs. They don't promote abortion. They give a woman her options. But they don't only help women. They help men as well.
Because I understand that women are not property. I am not a piece of land you can buy and treat however you wish. I do not deserve that kind of treatment, nor will sit back and let it happen. Women do not like to be, in President Trump's words, "grabbed by the p***y". We are just as human as you! Even more so if you believe that it's okay to treat a woman like an object.
Because I understand the trauma of a sexual assault. I understand the fear of coming forward after being attacked. I understand that you don't want to feel judged, or to hear someone tell you that you "got what was coming to you." 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men are raped every year on college campuses. 90% of those cases go unreported. If DeVos would have had her way, colleges would not be required to report a sexual assault or to punish those involved. How dare you tell me that we do not even have the right to protection, and to justice.
The biggest reason I am a supporter of those who participated in the Women's March? Because I believe that all people of all genders, races, nationalities, sexualities, and classes deserve equal treatment. Because I believe that women of all kinds deserve to be respected, cared for, and protected. I will always support those fighting for those things.
What are we going to do about this?
Well, I don't know about you, but I'm going to use my voice. I am going to use the privilege that I have as a white, middle class, and educated woman and I will not stay silent. For too long have I stood back and not had a say or a voice or even an understanding of what is going on in our world. Enough is enough.
I hope you take the time to even just think about what these things could do. About the reality that the loss of our rights is a fear. If you can, no matter your age, race, nationality, sexuality, gender, or class, use your voice. Show America and the people laughing at those people who marched today across our nation that all of us are people. All of us have the right to health care, to protection, to justice, and to equality.
I don't know if our rights will ever come close to being taken away again. I don't know that the promotion of rape culture will ever completely die. But I do know that if we stand quiet that nothing will change. That this will get worse. That next time it may be more than a sexual assault.