Why We March
By Angie Zhang (Nasty Woman)
Following the inauguration of Donald Trump, millions of women across the country and world marched in protest against the new president. Trump’s policies have been controversial since the start of his campaign; he supported deporting undocumented immigrants, defunding Planned Parenthood, overturning Roe v. Wade, and repealing Obamacare, just to name a few. Trump’s views towards women, people of color, disabled people, and the LGBTQ+ community, are not exactly known to be empathetic; in fact, they are chauvinistic. The election of Trump as president of the United States came as a shock and disappointment to many, including myself. From election day on, many of us have been outspoken about our outrage regarding the reality of a Trump presidency. We are in appalled that a person who publicly bragged about sexual assault, is somehow able to become the leader of our nation merely because he is rich, white, and male. The numerous women’s marches across the globe are just the beginning of a series of uprisings; activists will continue writing, protesting, petitioning, and organizing throughout the next couple of years.
I personally was not able to attend any of the marches subsequent to inauguration day, but I decided to interview some people who did attend about why they took part, and their experiences/thoughts. Jules Thron, Dwight-Englewood ’18, stated, “I believe in my rights and the rights of the people in this country. I believe that Trump is posing as a threat to those rights. Women are not objects, disabled people are not butts of a joke, and black people or immigrants aren’t lesser people because of their skin tone or place of origin. He is a man of low ethics and values and doesn’t deserve to be placed in the highest power of the country.” When asked about what it felt like to march with thousands of other people for a common cause, Thron answered, “It was the most empowering thing I have ever been a part of. All these people coming together to fight for their rights.” Many women’s marches took place all over different countries, which emphasizes the significance of not only dissent towards the new American president, but also reflects the power of the United States in world politics. Protesting is one of our constitutional rights, and we as a nation should not take the liberty to do so, for granted.
Trump supporters and/or moderates have been critical of the women’s marches happening across the country, because they believe that protests won’t change the outcome of the election, and in fact will worsen the partisanship that has grown in the United States in light of the recent events. However, the motive is not to change the outcome of a Trump administration, but rather to exercise our rights to free speech and assembly. Isabel Algrant, Dwight Englewood ‘17, states, “I wanted to use our rights as citizens to inform him that we are still watching and paying attention after the election. I want him to know where I stand, and this was a great opportunity to do so.” Additionally, by protesting against a common adversary, the women’s marches have brought liberals and non-Trump supporters closer together. Algrant recalls, “It was nice because everyone understood each other's anger and no one judged. Also we were all able to feel understood, my sister and I even saw a sign that said mixed race girls = America which meant a lot to us.”
The women’s marches have left a powerful message within our communities: the message that we should be able and unafraid to stand up, speak up, and show up for what we believe in. We should be unafraid to join together to represent our country and our beliefs, even in the face of discomfort and oppression. We march because we are proud to be American-- we are proud of the American values that we believe in, which we feel Donald Trump does not represent. We march because we are angry at what has become of our nation. We march because we are hopeful for a better future in which Muslims, immigrants, and LGBTQ+ people will not have to be afraid of their rights being taken away from them. We march because we care.
Here's one way author Angie Zhang suggests you can get involved: Support the American Civil Liberties Union