Rachel’s Rights: The March for Gender Equality

Photo by Emily Staten

Article by Rachel Owen

Following the paths of progressive women before them, the women of 2018 are here to change history. January was a month of true progress for women everywhere as thousands took to the streets, social platforms, and government headquarters to fight for gender equality.

On January 7th, many women including Tracee Ellis Ross, Rashida Jones, and Reese Witherspoon attended the Golden Globes wearing black to raise awareness about abuse towards women. This fashionable act coincided with the campaign #TimesUp, which aims to raise awareness about sexual assault and decrease it. The entire night had an inspirational atmosphere as men and women alike came together to celebrate the possibility of change.

Such an environment sparked eloquent speeches in support of gender equality. At the announcement of the nominees for best director, actress Natalie Portman said, “And here are the all male nominees,” to bring an awareness to the lack of women nominated in the category. Later that night, Oprah Winfrey gave a speech about equality that some said was presidential, saying, “…a  new day is on the horizon. And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, and a lot of amazing men!”

This night made headlines across the nation and affirmed that the fight against sexual abuse and inequality among genders would not be fought easily. This conflict has gone back centuries and it is time that this disturbing issue comes to a close. Following the #Metoo Movement that grew in popularity last fall, #TimesUp is here to not only listen to those stories, but to do something about them.

January 20th was another successful day as hundreds of thousands of people from all different backgrounds took to the streets to stand up for their rights during the annual Women’s March. Like last year, people adorned their heads with pink beanies called “pussy hats”, wore as much pink as they could, made posters, and stood shoulder by shoulder in crowded streets to take a stand. However, this year’s march had a stronger focus on voter turnout and electing more women into office. This movement, called “Power to the Polls” by the official Women’s March website, womensmarch.com, was put in place to act on the themes that last year’s march embodied. Power to the Polls encouraged women to run for office in order to act upon the change the people of this country have been so diligently striving for

In the words of novelist Tiffany Madison, “If we don’t fight for what we ‘stand for’ with our passionate words and honest actions, do we really ‘stand’ for anything?” Women have been fighting for equality for too long and it’s about time for change. If the rest of 2018 follows the precedent that the first month set, then change will surely occur.

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