It’s been three whole years. It has been three years since the first time that thousands of people across the United States gathered together in solidarity to stand for and with women. The first day of Donald Trump’s presidency marked the start of this movement, the Women’s March, that will continue to represent civil and human rights throughout our lifetimes.
Flooded with handmade signs, pink hats and people of all ages and gender expressions, Spokane showed its support on Saturday. Gonzaga students and community members joined hand-in-hand to show that all women, regardless of race, culture, religion or sexual orientation, are supported here. Everyone has a place at the Women’s March. Everyone has the responsibility to support everyone.
Spokane has been part of the movement since the first march in January 2017, which shows how supportive our community can be. I think it’s every city’s responsibility to show support, because why wouldn’t they?
Women are an influential, powerful and vital part of every community. I look up to so many women, and this march, being a space dedicated to them and to young women like me, is so essential.
Young girls and boys growing up in a patriarchal society need this march. Girls need to know they are strong, intelligent, needed, wanted and valuable. Boys need to support them. It’s important for kids to grow up with the idea of equality being the normal. The Women’s March brings us one step closer to this.
The Women’s March is slowly changing the culture of our society, but it doesn’t push enough people to participate in yearlong advocacy, political change or involvement in outreach programs.
It seems like most people show up for one day in January, wear trendy outfits, put on their fun hats, participate in the hourlong march, take cute pictures, post them and go home. But then they don’t participate in the movement until next January.
I think this march and this movement could do a better job in recruiting women and men to be more active in the change that they are marching for.
If people are passionate enough to want to make a change, they should join reproductive rights teams, be part of a support system for women facing violence in relationships, volunteer at women’s shelters or read up on law and policy that control women’s day-to-day lives.
Though people aren’t participating throughout the year's entirety, this march still plants an idea in our culture that women’s rights are human rights. It’s only been three years since the first Women’s March, so there is lots of room to expand and grow in our involvement.
The Women’s March website states, “The mission of the Women’s March is to harness the political power of diverse women and their communities to create a transformative social change.”
The board and staff of the Women’s March, a diverse group of women, has done a phenomenal job spreading their message and mission with the world through social media, and the intersectional platform is only going to grow from here.
Year after year, the Women’s March will get bigger, the outreach programs will develop and we will get closer to the normalization of equal rights. It’s going to be a long time before we normalize "equal," but we are on the way.