Feminists from around the country will be gathering in the streets of Washington, D.C. this Saturday to stand up for women’s rights in what will be the first ever Women’s March on Washington.
The Women’s March on Washington is “a grassroots effort comprised of dozens of independent coordinators at the state level,” according to the official Women’s March website. The website also states that the mission of the march is to respond to “the rhetoric of the past election cycle,” and make it known that “women’s rights are human rights,” in a non-violent manner. Over 20,000 people are estimated to attend the march, which is taking place on Saturday, January 21st. There are many “sister marches” to attend across the country for the feminists who cannot make it to DC. Anyone of any age is invited to march.
Fresh U reached out to self-identifying feminist college students, some of which are attending the march, and asked them to discuss the importance of the Women’s March, and to describe what feminism means to them personally.
Melissa Cordell, University at North Carolina - Chapel Hill, Journalism and Political Science Major
“I’m attending the Women’s March because I feel it’s my duty to help fight for equality of all women, since I’m able to attend and represent. It’s important to me because it recognizes intersectionality within the march, and it helps to bring awareness to issues that people forget still surround those who identify as female.
Feminism means equality for all. The work of feminists is so important because it empowers minority groups and allows them to feel the level of equality that they should.”
Em Brandon, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Journalism and Media Communication Major
“I’m attending Omaha’s version of the Women’s March because after the inauguration, I know I’ll feel like I need to do something productive. The election of our president-elect was terrifying to me, and his cabinet is just as shocking. I know that if I just sit at home and watch as he is sworn in, I’ll feel helpless.
Feminism means equality to me. It means that every single person around me, whether they identify as woman, man, or gender nonconforming, will receive the same rights and respect that we all deserve.”
Kennedy Rose, Syracuse University, Newspaper and Online Journalism Major
“I’m attending the march because I wanted to see history happen in person rather than a TV screen. I remember watching Barack Obama’s inauguration when I was in sixth grade and it was so full of hope and positivity. This inauguration contrasts that to the extreme. I think protests and marches like the Women’s March on Washington are important because it’s thousands of people coming together and saying, ‘No, we will not stand with lawmakers who spew hate and promote discrimination.’
I stand with intersectional feminists who understand that this isn’t only a problem that affects women. It affects women of color, women with disabilities, and trans and intersex women way more than it affects me - a cisgendered, white, able bodied woman. I’m using my privilege to stand with those who don’t have that privilege.”
Hannah Nelson, University of Tennessee, Biology Major
“The majority of people voting against abortion, against birth control are men; men who have no clear understanding of how women’s bodies work, how Planned Parenthood works, even how sex itself works. If more people who could get pregnant were in the government, we wouldn’t be arguing about this…If the government and those that represent it stopped perpetuating hate and fear and instead inspired peace and love, we wouldn't be marching. That’s what feminism is to me: fighting for the right to my own body, my right to be successful, my right to be defined by something other than my looks and by what’s inside my brain instead.”
Every citizen of the United States has the right to protest and stand up for what they believe is right. For more information on the Women’s March and how to get involved, please visit their website.
Lead Image Credit: Women's March on Washington