In this remarkable and strange time in U.S. history, the youth are proud to make their voices heard every step of the way.
By Avani Venkatesh
“We marched for different reasons, but the message was one, with the rise of women’s equality, comes the rise of all.” –Maeve Hall
On January 21st, 2017, The DC streets, along with Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, were full of supporters, and adversaries, of the Women’s March. “Build bridges, not walls” “My Body My Choice” and “I Grab Back” are just some of the many slogans that filled the signs carried by protesters. Post-inauguration DC streets were and are full of feminists of all gender, race, socioeconomic status, and age.
While plenty of the protesters were middle age and above, some of the most active voices in the protests were the youth. The youth had hundreds of proud voices in the Women’s March, and if supporters could not physically be there, they did their part in sharing their opinion on social media.
One supporter on Instagram stated “It’s a proud day to be a woman. Wish I could’ve marched along. #dcwomensmarch #Igrabback”
Kendall Lynch, a supporter from Virginia described her experience as “inspirational and powerful.”
“Walking into the Women’s March on Washington yesterday in D.C., I knew I would be a part of history,” she said. “Throughout the entire day, I didn’t hear any angry words, just powerful ones. We began marching to the White House around 2:15. Being within the crowd was one of the most surreal experiences of my life. We chanted, “This is what democracy looks like,” and, “My body, my choice,” so loudly I could hear the echoes against the buildings lining the streets of Washington. The Women’s March on Washington is definitively the most life-changing event I have ever been a part of. I will never forget the strength, inspiration, and power I felt while being there.”
Many others went with their families. Sierra and her mom Danielle went together but had experiences that were quite unique. Sierra’s experience was more eye opening, while Danielle’s was simply continuing her part in the fight for equality.
Danielle stated, “The March on Washington on January 21, 2017, was a day to remember. My mother marched for civil rights and fought for women’s rights her whole life. Saturday was her 77th birthday – she was with us in spirit for a fitting day for our family to march for ALL human rights and Mother Earth. Being a multicultural family, the words in the last election have hit home like a mortar shell. The denigrating of women, various cultures, nationalities, religions, orientations, gender identity, and the acceptance of sexual assault on women cannot be ignored. To see people from all over the globe regardless of party, religion, socio-economic status, and gender unite in such a fashion was remarkable and empowering. It was awesome to see young people engaged and energized. We now must act on this beginning.”
Sierra, age 15, said “The Women’s March on Washington was an experience that I will never forget. It was the start of a revolution that will take years and years to reach its ultimate goals. This includes: receiving equal pay as men, maintaining the right to choose what we want to do with our bodies, the freedom of walking down the street without being scared that a predator will follow us home and sexually assault us, and just the overall right to be looked at as an equal no matter your race, gender, orientation, sexuality, religion, and ones’ personal opinions. We came together to stand up for all of the injustices and oppressions being set upon us. I thought that this was a very exciting experience because everyone was all in. This was and is what REAL democracy looks like.”
Pictured below is their entire family at the march.
On the other hand, there are plenty of adversaries to the protests as well. On Twitter, many are opposing the protests by saying things like “BREAKING NEWS: The government could care less about your hats, signs, and march. #antiwomensmarch.”
What was most surprising is that all opponents to the protest were not Trump supporters. In fact, a 17-year-old high school student stated “I am a proud feminist and a proud Hillary supporter, however, I think the protests are completely unproductive. Inspiring, but unproductive. Trump is the president, and no number of protests or marches will change that. Instead of being bitter, it is time to focus on what we can do to help those around is.”
All in all, it is a remarkable and strange time in U.S. history, and the youth are proud to make their voices heard every step of the way. I for one am honored and appreciative to live in a country in which people can peacefully and passionately protest for equality for all. Stated best by Kendall Lynch,” We will be heard by those in power, whether they want to hear us or not.”