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Column: Women’s March embodied unity for all

Demonstrators+at+the+Women%27s+March+on+Washington+raise+signs+in+support+of+the+event.
Demonstrators at the Women's March on Washington raise signs in support of the event.

Demonstrators at the Women's March on Washington raise signs in support of the event.

Carina Easson

Carina Easson

Demonstrators at the Women's March on Washington raise signs in support of the event.

Emma Scott, News Editor

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Our country’s 45th president was inaugurated Jan. 20, but the real showstopper was on Saturday, Jan. 21, when millions crowded the streets in cities across the globe to show support for women’s rights. I was able to join the Women’s March on Washington (WMW) at our nation’s capital.

The march in D.C. was one of the most lively and joyous events I have ever experienced. When those who came for the occasion received the notification that the crowd was too large to conduct a formal march, people decided to venture out on their own across the city and start their own marches. When an ambulance or firetruck drove through, people quickly made room for the vehicles to pass by and even applauded as a way to thank them. My sister, mom and I were able to fall in with one of the smaller marches. Later, a group containing women walking on stilts, band members playing instruments, and puppeteers controlling giant figures joined our march. Someone in the crowd commented that it was as if we were at Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Our march was a melting pot of individuals and although the magnitude of the event was at times overwhelming, the atmosphere was light and festive.

The purpose of the event was unity, however much of the criticism towards the march included words along the lines of “hateful,” as well as “anti-Trump.”

Hateful is most likely the last word I would use to describe the march. Was there natural and typical disagreement between recent liberal and conservative issues? Yes. Were the marchers hateful? Not at all. Rather than being a hateful demonstration, the WMW was a unified and peaceful protest that, unsurprisingly, yielded zero arrests.

In terms of Trump, while many marchers came with signs expressing opposition to the president, most signs addressed reproductive rights, sexual assault, environmental conditions, and more issues that have been debated as of late. It should also be noted that the website containing the information about and mission of the WMW never mentioned Trump’s name once.

To those who have only focused on the idea of a hateful or anti-Trump march, I say you’re missing the big picture. Millions of people march across the world to raise awareness for all types of issues, yet so many have chosen to ignore that fact and make this march something negative. If so many people gathered together, then there are probably some concerns that need to be discussed.

Personally, I did join the march largely because of anti-Trump sentiment. After our country became closer to normalizing sexual assault by electing a president who has made countless lewd and disrespectful comments about women, I decided to march. After our country elected a man who mocked a disabled reporter, called Mexicans “rapists”, and made an innumerable amount of other profane remarks, I decided to march.

The last thing I want is to see our newly elected president fail. Instead, I want to hear actual conversations about issues, rather than immediate actions. I want compromise, rather than one-sided decisions that do not encompass everybody.

The WMW was an experience that highlighted the fact that these unified demonstrations will not just cease and quietly disappear, as well as reinforced the idea that we marchers will refuse to be ignored.

If we’re going to listen to this “Make America Great Again” rhetoric for the next four years, then let us actually try to converse across the political parties and attempt to accommodate for everyone’s beliefs.

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Column: Women’s March embodied unity for all