by GRACIE DAVIS '19
Women march, but so do men. People that have been protesting for their entire lives come to the march, but so do people that have just begun their lives. Catholics march, but so do Muslims, so do Jewish people, so do all religions. LGBTQ+ people protest. People come together, no matter race, religion, gender, sexuality, age because women’s rights are human rights.
The Cincinnati Sister March occurred on January 21 in Washington Park in efforts to protest a lack of rights belonging to a variety of people. In total, 673 Women’s Marches and 4,956,422 Sister Marches took place across all seven continents on January 21, 2017. While there was major celebrity representation at the Washington March--from speakers such as Gloria Steinem, America Ferrera, Bernie Sanders, and Cecile Richards and marchers such as Emma Watson, Amy Schumer, and Zendaya-- representatives from Planned Parenthood, Women Helping Women, Black Lives Matter, the AMOS Project, and the Islamic Center of Cincinnati spoke to the thousands of people that gathered in Washington Park at noon and marched to City Hall with their pink hats, their signs, and their sisters from all over Cincinnati--a handful of which were from SUA.
The participants marched by with signs criticizing Donald Trump’s views on topics like climate change, abortion, and inequality. One sign read “Our Rights Are Not Up For Grabs and Neither Are We,” a play off of one of Trump’s infamous quotes. Hundreds of others repeated the now famous “Love Trumps Hate.” A few of them added to Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” so that the phrase read “Girls Just Want to Have Fun-damental Rights.”
The sole purpose was for far more than just women’s equality though. Women, men, and families marched for people of color, for LGBTQ+ people, and the end of misogyny; they marched for America’s children, but also for immigrants and people around the world, and they marched because this is their future. “We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families--recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.” This, the mission and vision of the Women’s March on Washington, is a call to everyone that has ever experienced oppression and to everyone that wants to speak out and make a difference in the world, and on January 21 millions answered.
“We join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore,” as the march mission statement continues.
I chose to march because I want every woman in every walk of life to feel valued for who she is, and the first step towards achieving that is by women coming together and supporting one another,” comments Margaret Lyon ‘18.
"I walked not just because of personal experiences of oppression. I wanted to recognize the voices of all others who have felt violated, [disrespected], and [not valued] in America and around the world and still do not feel heard," says Hayley Graham '17. "We must look beyond ourselves to see issues that we thought disappeared a long time ago." While she notes that “one march certainly will not solve every injustice," she recognizes that "it is a necessary step towards acknowledging the deeper issues. Once we are able to eradicate prejudice in forms of sexism, racism, homophobia, classism, nativism, and religious intolerance, we can truly make our country greater for everyone.”
Caroline Karwisch ‘17 says, “I marched because I cannot be silent while injustice and discrimination occur. I marched for the equal rights of all human beings regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, or circumstance. I marched for those who are marginalized and aren’t given a voice.”
Skyler Barton ‘17 says, “I marched because too many people believe that "feminism" is a dirty word. I marched because black lives matter. I marched because I believe in climate change and that everyone should have the right to be married. I believe that we should fight for human rights for ourselves as well as [for] those who cannot express their voice.” She continues, “All people should be treated as equals and I will not stop in this fight for equality of the human race.”