Students Take Part in the Ongoing Fight for Women’s Rights

Grace Harkins and Dillon Holdridge participating in the Women’s March in Washington D.C.

Photo by Kevin Crandall

Grace Harkins and Dillon Holdridge participating in the Women’s March in Washington D.C.

Written by River Stone and Lainey Lynch

After waves of sexual harassment accusations began making headlines, actress Alyssa Milano ignited the #MeToo movement with a tweet: “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted, write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet.” Now, over one year later, as International Women’s Day approaches, women’s rights are still at the forefront of our nation’s attention.

International Women’s Day takes place on March 8 (today) with the theme #BalanceForBetter, however, many students have already taken to the streets to support the cause. For senior Sara Roach, this cause is bringing more women into politics.

“While it’s true that women can vote and run for office, there’s still a large disparity between the say that men have and that women have in government,” says Roach. “In my opinion, women should have as much say as men, especially when it comes to political issues regarding women’s health.”

Roach, along with other students, attended the third annual Women’s March in D.C., held on a rainy Saturday morning in January. The rain didn’t stop the 100,000 people who marched alongside Roach to show their support.

“The right to protest, to put a voice behind what you support, is something that I think is really important,” says Roach, “Not everyone, woman or man, has the right to protest globally, so it’s important to take advantage of the opportunity we have.”

Many Americans have Roach’s viewpoint of public protest in mind. The day before the Women’s March, another march filled D.C.’s streets with countless passionate men, women, and children- the March for Life.

Photo by Kevin Crandall
Dani Kimbrough participating in the Women’s March in Washington D.C.

Each year since Roe v. Wade, anti-abortion protesters have gathered in the nation’s capitol to protest what many Americans believe to be a civil rights crisis.

It can be easy to forget that women’s rights are not a single party issue, rather, they span across ideologies. Junior Audrey Warner attended the March for Life in 2018, and wholeheartedly believes that the pro-life fight is a fight for women’s rights.

“I believe that all humans are equal, and with that being says, babies are included,” says Warner, “Women’s rights start in the womb.” Warner also found it uplifting to be around so many people who shared her ideals. “With any march, it makes you feel as if you are not alone,” says Warner.

Some may even argue that giving people the courage to voice their opinions and tell their stories in spite of pressure, was a major takeaway that can be attributed to the #MeToo movement. Regardless, voices from both ‘sides’ were certainly heard in D.C. this January.
Senior Ian Fulton attended the Women’s March this year, and was shocked at the ferociousness of the counter-protesters he encountered.

“I was with two of my friends, and they got into an argument with a counter-protester,” says Fulton, “The counterprotestor was just spewing hate and calling them really inappropriate names, wishing they had cancer or had died, telling them they were going to hell, calling them murderers.”

Fulton, however, acknowledges that people can act differently during protests or in marches than they would in day-to-day life.

“Everyone feels like it’s an open spot to voice their opinions, no matter what they are,” says Fulton, “I think in day-to-day life, people are a lot more reserved because they know that what they say affects people a certain way.”