Women’s March on Washington: “Welcome to your first day, we will not go away!”


Priya Mukhi, Staff Writer

“My body, my choice!”

“Women’s rights are human rights!”

“Love trumps hate!”

The day following President Trump’s inauguration, people all over the world gathered to take part in the Women’s March. They sought to convey a powerful message to the United States government: any attempt to marginalize women, certain ethnic and religious groups, those who identify as LGBTQ+, those with disabilities, and those who have been sexually assaulted will be met with firm yet peaceful demands for equality.

Marches took place worldwide, from the grassroots movement in Washington D.C. to freezing Antarctica. Notable women like Zendaya, Cher, Alicia Keys, Madonna, America Ferrera, Chrissy Teigen, and Scarlett Johansson attended the march to support its causes. Over 500,000 people attended the Women’s March on Washington, and over 5 million marched worldwide.

Among the protesters were some of Ward Melville’s very own students. Sophomore Maya Peña-Lobel, who attended the Washington D.C. march, described it to be “so amazing and inspiring despite obvious differences, [people were] fighting for the same shared cause which was human rights.” Maya also believes that peaceful protests like the Women’s March are going to be essential during Trump’s presidency. She explained, “The march itself was not just one event, it was the beginning of a movement, of opposition, of human rights, of love and togetherness, and it was a symbol of what’s to come and what to expect in the next four years.”

At every march, thousands of women sported the “pussyhat”– pink knitted hats with cat ears. The hats are a symbol of female empowerment, and to “reappropriate the word ‘pussy’ in a positive way”, says Jayna Zweiman, co-founder of the Pussyhat Project. After President Trump’s election, Jayna Zweiman and Krista Suh founded the Pussyhat Project, a project aimed at encouraging the production of pussyhats all over the world. On Pussyhat Project’s website, you can find simple and easy to follow instructions on how to knit your own pussyhat. The goal of the project was to create “a sea of pink” at the Women’s March on Washington, which certainly was accomplished.

While hundreds of protests took place worldwide, President Donald Trump spent his first day in office at the CIA headquarters. However, Trump later took to Twitter to respond to the protests. He tweeted, “Watched protests yesterday but was under the impression that we just had an election! Why didn’t these people vote? Celebs hurt cause badly.” He later added, “Peaceful protests are a hallmark of our democracy. Even if I don’t always agree, I recognize the rights of people to express their views.”

Many people are fearful for what’s to come during Donald Trump’s presidency. Within one week, he has already reintroduced the controversial Keystone and Dakota pipeline projects, withdrawn from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and suspended the US refugee program. However, we must remember that we, the people, have the right and capability to speak up for our values just as millions did at the Women’s March. Sophomore Molly Danieli who attended the NYC Women’s March explained, “To me, the Women’s March means solidarity and hope. I know I and many others have really been terrified for what the Trump presidency may bring upon our country, but this march meant [to me that] no matter what happens, this huge group of like-minded people will be there for each other. We, together, can change the world.”