One year after protestors organized the Women’s March the conversation continues. Thousands of people take to the streets around the world in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Italy and Norway to protest discrimination.
The strong, over-arching theme continued to remain political – exercise your right to vote, register to vote and run for office. However, other important topics of discontent, discrimination and protests made appearances too – the government shutdown, #metoo, Time’s Up, and more.
Live telecast and tweets galore from women in leadership, entertainment industry, politics and business kept those who could not participate informed. Standing amidst men and women with a variety of placards, of all ages and color, the energy epitomized resistance and strength, but the smiles conveyed hope.
Hillary Clinton tweeted – In 2017, the Women’s March was a beacon of hope and defiance. In 2018, it is a testament to the power and resilience of women everywhere. Let’s show that same power in the voting booth this year. #PowerToThePolls
Encouraging women to run for office, to be brave and confident, Ashley Bennett, a Democrat from Egg Harbor Township NJ who won against a long-time Republican politician in her first run for office, said, “Am I the right person? Can I really do this? But then I realized that if you wait until you feel ready, you may never take action.”.
At the Women’s March 2018, in Washington, Nancy Pelosi praised women, “They marched, and now they have run for office, and some of them have already won their office.”
Signs supporting immigration, posters in support of Black Lives Matter and support for other minorities was also demonstrated in pockets of the march.
Viola Davis in downtown LA gave a rousing speech, expressing that “No one and nothing can be great unless it cost you something.” She addressed #Metoo as well, “ I am speaking today, not just for the MeToos because I was a MeToo. But when I raise my hand I am aware of all the women who are still in silence, the women who are faceless. Your job as an American citizen is not just to fight for your rights. It’s to fight for the rights of every individual that is taking a breath”.
Halsey took to poetry to express her rage and speak up about how women from all walks of life and at all ages are still subject to abuse, still feel unsafe, “I believe I am protected, cause I live on the screen, nobody would dare act that way around me, I have earned my protection, eternally clean, until a man that I trust gets his hands in my pants”. She concludes her poem by saying, “Lord knows there’s a war to be won”.
Scarlett Johansson, a strong advocate of Time’s Up, addressed grey areas of consent and how people in position of power take advantage of those who aren’t. “How could a person publicly stand by an organization that helps to provide support for victims of sexual assault while privately preying on people who have no power?”, she asked while asking for her pin back.
The conversations and speeches from those at the podium and those in the crowds appear to have reached the general understanding that this fight for equality has many faces, there are several discriminations to be addressed and that we have to be in it for the long haul.