Our View: Sexism lights a fire, keeps march alive
Last Sunday, on the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump’s inauguration, hundreds of thousands of women across the United States gathered to protest inequality in America. Sunday also marked one year since the very first women’s march, spearheaded in by Teresa Shook, a retired lawyer from Hawaii that simply started a Facebook group after Trump was elected.
Since then, the women’s march has grown into a national movement of protest and empowerment. This year, a reported 200,000 protesters lined the streets of New York, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio. Los Angeles saw 600,000 participants, Chicago had 300,000 and Washington, D.C had over 10,000.
The march began as a reaction to Trump’s election in 2016. Women across the nation shuddered at the thought of Trump’s sexism representing the national standard. Before being elected, supporters blamed his insensitive comments on Trump of the past, caught up in Hollywood drama and sexual politics. The president has had a year to prove that he is reformed, that he values both women and anyone with a different skin color than his. However, he has not worked to remedy his past. Just last week, porn star Stormy Daniels claimed she was paid to keep quiet about an affair Trump had with her shortly after his son was born. Trump is not even remotely remorseful for his past.
Trump has lit a fire under women desiring equality in America. Though it seems backwards, he has motivated an incredible movement. Before his campaign and subsequent election, men in powerful positions were rarely held responsible for any sexual harassment or sexist actions, whether a passing comment or unwanted sexual attention.
Over the past year, dozens of powerful men in politics, sports and entertainment have lost more than just their jobs after their past actions have been uncovered. The latest example of this happened just this Wednesday, when former Team USA Olympic doctor Larry Nassar was convicted of over 150 counts of sexual assault and sentenced to up to 175 years in prison. The stream of allegations that began last year has begun a Domino effect, spurred on by women who are simply tired of what they see around them.
This is why the women’s march is so important. When issues are under the surface, kept quiet and out of the public eye, change will not happen. But when injustice is undeniable, change is inevitable. When there are enough people that are fed up, work can really begin. The women’s march was held again this year because women are still mad. Last year was the call to battle, but the fight has really just begun.
This year, the march included more than just issues specific to women. Protesters marched for equality for everyone, including immigrants whose futures are unsure if DACA is no longer in existence. The original creators of the women’s march have organized other events, including a “Power to the Polls” rally next week in Las Vegas, which will encourage more women to take their vote seriously during the upcoming midterm elections.
The women’s march has become a symbol for the outrage at institutional injustice and inequality—and it couldn’t have happened without Donald Trump.
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