After multiple sexist comments Trump has made about women throughout his campaign, it’s only fitting that millions of women around the world chose his inauguration day to unite and march in support of equality and women’s rights.
The Women’s March emphasized several Unity Principles, such as ending violence, reproductive rights, civil rights, etc. Their mission statement begins with,
“The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized and threatened many of us – immigrants of all statuses, Muslims and those of diverse religious faiths, people who identify as LGBT, Native people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, survivors of sexual assault – and our communities are hurting and scared. We are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear.”
The march was so influential that small towns and cities across the nation felt compelled to participate in their own way. Even Grand Forks held a march that day in support of the national event.
There were even marches in other parts of the world. Peaceful protests held everywhere were bringing awareness to issues that are vital to the advancement of gender equality, which has proven to be a problem in more than just a few countries.
Although there were people at these events the express intention to cause chaos and destruction, this doesn’t speak to the heart of the message and the real reason why so many expressed their support. When celebrities like Ashley Judd get involved in civil rights movements like this, it increases media attention and makes people want to pay attention to the cause. Her poetry slam emphasized the unique struggles females go through everyday and how little appreciation they get for it.
In an age where sexual assault and gender equality are such hot button issues, it’s disheartening to know that our newest president has made past statements degrading women and then further dismissing it as locker room talk. This isn’t the first time that a man with influence has referred to the treatment of women in a less than respectful manner, but the difference here is Trump became President.
Trump’s actions, statements and every move he makes is scrutinized and over-analyzed, but that’s the nature of the job. Trump now sets the standard for how other men act toward women and his insensitivity and blatant disrespect of women only further excuses other men’s behavior. It sets back the progress that has been made in gender equality thus far.
The Women’s March was a statement, a message to the rest of the world boasting that “women’s rights are human rights.” They will not be ignored or intimidated and they have the numbers to ensure that their views and concerns will be heard.
The cause doesn’t stop here, the goal is to continue the movement and accomplish 10 actions in a hundred days. On the Women’s March website, they state, “Every 10 days we will take action on an issue we all care about, starting today.”
They plan to continue to apply pressure on the Trump administration and make it known that this isn’t just a one-time snap response to the swearing in of a president they don’t believe in. This is the beginning of a lifelong movement and commitment to the furthering of gender equality.
In the years to come and in the midst of many other national and international concerns, I can only hope that, if Trump decides to do nothing in the way to advance women’s rights, women will continue to stand together and blaze more trails of success and advancement in the face of adversity.
Elizabeth Fequiere is an opinion writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected]