I paid the $12 BART fare and hopped on a train to San Francisco on Saturday, Jan. 18. I could feel the excitement that always came during some big event. I could tell I was not the only person heading to the Women’s March on that train. I saw people holding signs and wearing buttons and pink pussy-cat hats. I was proud to be attending this event, as I had every year for the past three years.
Every year since 2017 there has been a women’s marches across the nation. They take place in big cities or small towns. In northern California alone there were marches in Oakland, San Francisco, Modesto, and many other towns. Across the nation there were marches in Chicago, New York City, Boston, and more.
The very first one took place on January 21, 2017, the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration. The Women’s March in 2017 also took place in 30 other countries across the globe. It was the largest protest ever in human history. More than 3 million people participated in the march. These marches were in protest to Trump’s inauguration, policies, and the mistreatment of women. The main purpose of these marches is to advocate for immigration rights, women rights, LGBTQ+ rights, racial equality, and other social justice issues.
The first march in 2017 was inspiring. I remember seeing thousands of people flooding the streets, demanding political and social reform. All kinds of people showed up: men, women, blacks, whites, hispanics, Asians, kids, and adults. To see so many different people join together to advocate for change, peacefully, was extremely moving. There was music and laughter and joy and passion.
I thought that the passion at the 2020 Women’s March was lacking. Instead of seeing all kinds of people, I saw mainly older white women. There were a few hundred people who showed up. However I was very disappointed the small crowd. What had happened? What had changed?
I believe that as the years have gone by, we’ve become so used to horrible sexist things Trump has said that it does not anger most people anymore, or they don’t care enough to get out and fight against it. We stay strong in numbers. It shouldn’t just be women fighting for equal rights, it should be everyone, women and men.
Since marches began in 2017 more women have been elected to the Senate and House of Representatives than ever before. As of now there are 102 women in the House of Representatives, which is 23.4 percent of all the representatives. Also, since the 2018 midterm elections, five new women were elected to the Senate, for a total of 25 out of 100. It is a great improvement, but it still is not enough. Both the House and the Senate should be split 50/50 men and women.
Until we get equal pay, until reproductive rights are no longer a political issue, and until we get equal representation in Congress, we need to keep marching.