The Women's March: What It Really Was

The Women's March: What It Really Was

We aren't trying to create divisions. We are trying to start a conversation.
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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.

Cover Image Credit: Deborah Lynn Coble

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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The Democratic Enthusiasm Is Great, But They're Missing Something Crucial — Policy

The Democrats are more motivated than ever for 2020, but are they getting too carried away?

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The 2020 Democratic primary continues to become more up for grabs as we near closer and closer to the actual primaries themselves. From familiar faces such as Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden to newcomers to the presidential trail such as Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris, Democratic-leaning voters have a wide array of candidates to choose from in order to defeat Donald Trump.

It's absolutely great seeing the Democratic base more energized than ever for the pending political circus next year. Beto O'Rourke, for example, seems to still have the enthusiasm that he picked up from his failed senatorial campaign in 2018. Moreover, it was also inspiring to see Pete Buttigieg kiss his husband on stage while proving that progressive politics can help even those in middle-class small towns like South Bend, Indiana.

All of this is great to see, but with all due respect to Beto, Mayor Pete, and perhaps nearly all of the other Democrats running: we know you want to fix Trump's mess, but how are you going to do it?

The 2020 election can genuinely make or break the state of progressive politics in the United States. With critical issues ranging from the Green New Deal, reparations for slavery, health care as a human right, and a $15 minimum wage, if candidates think gracing the covers of Vanity Fair and Vogue are doing the American people any good, then they are deeply mistaken.

Candidates like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, so far, have been consistent in how they will specifically initiate the policy positions that they're undertaking. Of the 23 major candidates that have declared their candidacy, only 13 of them have policy pages on their campaign sites. You might say that it's too early in the campaign cycle for policy positions to be rolled out, but the fact of the matter is: Americans who are struggling to get by cannot wait.

The 2018 midterms have demonstrated that the American people want people in government that are willing to fight tooth and nail for them. Americans want people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib representing them and their interests.

We cannot succumb to the bad habit of gloating in our victories and pretend that our work is over. We may have severed one head of the corruption hydra, but we have many more heads to go.

So to all 2020 candidates, it's time to quit wasting time on PR stunts and thinking that your past or background will guarantee you victory. There's too much at stake — let's get to work.

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