WATCH: What It Was Like To Be In The Million Women's March On Washington

WATCH: What It Was Like To Be In The Million Women's March On Washington

The Million Women's March in Washington D.C and sister marches across the country and the world have stirred up a lot of different views, here is my takeaway.

On a gray day in Washington D.C., a rainbow blanketed the streets. The political epicenter of the United States was flooded with every shade of activism.

There was fear in the days leading up to the march that there were too many conflicting messages, that it would be messy and therefore less effective. The march was for equal treatment (women, immigrant, Black, Mexican and LGBTQIA), climate change denial opposition, Black Lives Matter supporters and plenty of Anti-Trump protesters. Every sign, pin and chant represented a separate grievance or injustice, which ultimately did complicate the overall message of the march.

Was the march complicated? Yes. Was it less effective? No. The gathering in D.C, in cities scattered across the country and the world, was just that: a gathering.

The consistency of the march existed in the kindness of others. Numerous sources are reporting that no one was arrested and after the violence in Orlando, Syria and various places this past year, peaceful protesting sends the most impactful message.

Everyone had an opinion and at times the various voices had conflicting messages, but with the literal shoulder to shoulder masses of people there was nothing, but good vibes shared.

My experience in D.C. on January 22nd was a positive one. Despite the massive crowds, there was a cohesion and a common desire for change, perhaps not everyone was focused on the same changes, but there was agreement on the importance of activism.

I was standing in front of a sleeping baby in a carriage when a woman to the left of me, in the huddle of people located on Independence Ave. and 12th St., collapsed. A few women in the area began yelling for a medic when a man emerged from within the crowd. The man told folks that he would take her over to the ambulance located about a block away. The woman was whisked to safety, her limbs dangling from the arms of a stranger. The sea of people, almost intuitively, parted to let them through.

While my ballot reflected vastly different ideologies from that of our now President Donald Trump, his tweet in response to the march, I begrudgingly agree with, “Watched protests yesterday but was under the impression that we just had an election! Why didn't these people vote?” Why did it take the reality of Trump being sworn into the White House for some of these people to be politically concerned?

It does bother me that it took a threat to turn into a reality for people to wake up, but ultimately I am glad that people are becoming involved, even if the timing is off.

While the march was not without controversy and a little disarray, it was peaceful. It showed the world that political activism is now alive and well, that there are people willing to express their freedom of speech and assembly in inconceivable numbers—without violence.

Cover Image Credit: Hannah Sundell

So What is Feminism?

It's Time to do Our Homework!
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In light of the Women's March on January 20th 2018, I find it pertinent that we just recap what feminism is.

Some of you might be groaning already:

"ugh why do we even need feminism? it’s like the 20th century women have rights already?"

"yea... some women just need to be better than men ....and that’s just not gonna happen"

(***eye roll with an extra healthy dose of sarcasm sprinkled on top***)

So what EXACTLY is Feminism?

Feminism is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as:

"The advocacy of women's rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes."

and defined by Miriam Webster Dictionary as:

-"The theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes"

- "Organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests"

"Woah woah woah! hold up... what’s all this "equality" mumbo jumbo?"

I am SO glad you asked!

Lets break this down: Feminism is actually a sociological term to describe the efforts to have equal rights, representation, wages, healthcare and education for ALL people.

“Once more for the people in the back!”

ALL PEOPLE.

So, if you believe that everyone, no matter their socio-economic background, ethnicity, religion, education but most importantly: their gender, should have access to basic human things such as

  • Access to healthcare
  • Access to equal education opportunities
  • Access to fair and equal wages
  • Access to housing
  • Access to healthy nutrition

Then congratulations, you’re a Feminist.

Now this doesn't mean that you need to break out your body paint and most glittery bra and join a social movement (but props to you if thats your thing!)

All it really means is that you care about other people sharing this space, this country and this world with you.

...and hey, maybe they deserve the opportunity to work just as hard as you do to earn the things that you have.

Recap: Feminism= rights for ALL PEOPLE.

Cover Image Credit: Samuel Corum, Anadolu Agency/ Getty Images

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Mass Shootings And Masculinity Go Hand In Hand

What we're not talking about.
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Nineteen mass shootings. Nineteen mass shootings have happened since January 2018 and we’re only in the middle of February. This past shooting at Parkland high school really hit me hard. As I saw the victims of the shooting they reminded me of the kids that I went to high school with. One of the victims was apart of her high school’s color guard and I thought about how much I loved guard when I was in high school. I connected with her.

I saw the videos posted on Snapchat of what the students actually experienced and shed tears with my hand covering my mouth from shock. I saw how insanely graphic the scene was and how being there physically can traumatize one for the rest of their life. No one should have to go through this.

The debates on tv include those of gun control and mental health. On social media, different countries are being thrown around as examples for both stricter gun control, and the allowance for more guns. I also see how the shooter was seen as “mentally ill”, and the stigmatization of those who have mental health issues are dangerous is furthered. The one issue that no one is talking about that plays a huge role in these mass shootings in masculinity.

A large majority of these shooters are white men. While these shootings are also a racial issue I’m going to focus on the gender issue. From a young age, men are exposed to what society deems as masculine. Media hypermasculinized everything to the point where it’s ridiculous. Don’t believe me? Look up Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and see how ridiculously buff they are. They’re cartoon turtles, yet the societal standard of masculinity applies to them.

Even when it comes to toys the commercials for nerf and water guns show only males. Showing that guns are masculine. Young boys are raised to engage in masculine activities or they’re isolated socially and emotionally. Even when young men are engaging in “masculine” activities they still may not be good enough. Getting angry, being the bad boy, having a temper are seen as “cool” traits that males desire to have in order to give themselves an edge.

Now most young boys go through this, and masculinity is not the main factor in mass shootings but it is still a factor. It is a factor that we need to consider because eliminating any factor that helps to produce a mass shooter can help save lives.

Cover Image Credit: Brooke Cagle

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