By: Chloe Kekedjian
Photos by: Jill Reilly
Following Trump’s inauguration in 2017, millions of women around the country mobilized in defense of their rights and in solidarity with other oppressed groups. Since that first Women’s March, there have been stunning cases of women making remarkable change (there are more women in congress than ever before) and also harsh indicators that we have a long way to go (the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh despite numerous sexual assault allegations).
Turnout for the 2019 Women’s March was lower than in the previous years. This was likely in part due to one of the organizer’s praise of an anti-semitic speaker and a delayed response from other leaders. While this was inexcusable and disturbing for an event meant to celebrate intersectionality, the march assumed a character of its own. Media outlets seized on this depressed turnout to claim that there is not enough unity or energy behind the modern feminist movement. At the march, we saw the opposite. There was a diverse spectrum of ideas and groups being represented under the common goals of progress for women. While there are clear issues with some forms of inclusion on the hierarchical level, individuals participating in the march proclaimed a full spectrum of social justice causes. Even the structure of the crowd was designed to section off space for the differently-abled (something I noticed before I mistakenly pet a service dog).
With all of this in mind, we had two takeaways from the Women’s March.
Keep up the energy for 2020 and beyond: It is easy to give into apathy or lose energy, but those behaviors only perpetuate the status quo. Protesting and being surrounded by people who truly care is energizing. With multiple women representing the Democratic party in the next presidential election, there’s a real shot for the first woman in the white house, but this can only happen if people volunteer and vote!
Take advantage of being in DC: Not having a metro stop is not a good enough reason to ignore all of the opportunities to get involved in issues you care about. Clubs on campus often have transportation to really great events and protests led by inspiring student organizers.
CHLOE KEKEDJIAN is a freshman in the College studying Biochemistry. When she’s not stuck in Reiss all day, you can find her reapplying her lipstick after rapidly devouring carbs from Whisk or trying to use face masks to fix all of her problems.