Waking up at 7 a.m., driving to a train station, and taking two trains into Philadelphia — this is just one day of preparation for the 2018 Women’s March. Many Eastern students from Students Advocating for Gender Equality (SAGE), Political Activism Club (PAC), and many other sects of campus came together Jan. 20 to empower women in the historic city of Philadelphia.
Last year, Philadelphia became the first city to follow Washington D.C.’s trend of hosting the now annual Women’s March. The Women’s March was put in place to be a unified front in the face of oppression of all women. The march was in full swing last year, a day after the inauguration of Donald Trump. However, this year the march had something to prove: persistence in the resistance.
“I went to the Women’s March this year because last year it was about a direct response because of President Donald Trump’s inauguration, and not coming this year could be interpreted as complacency. This year is a reminder, these issues haven’t been solved… I really love the environment of the Women’s March… various issues [are] represented, and even kids attend. I really like that their slogan was ‘resist, persist and we rise,’” SAGE president Alysia Green said.
The Philadelphia venue for the march was at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. On top of having a wide range of speakers, they showed value in accommodations. They had an interpreter for those deaf or hard of hearing, and they had extra seating in front of the stage for those who have trouble walking or standing. Taking into account the diversity of the marchers was extremely important to ensure that all women felt cared for and wanted.
Emily Cooper Morse, a founder of the Women’s March in Philadelphia, found herself holding back her emotions as she talked about the impact society may have on her daughter if nothing changes. She talked about how the average person can change the world.
“I am an ordinary person, and President Obama said to make a change, we need ordinary people,” Morse said.
At the end of the event and at the end of the day, it was not about politics. It was not about Democrat or Republican. It was about equality; it was about every woman and girl knowing that they have a place in this world — a place that they choose for themselves apart from what society expects. It was about the love of women and the world they can change.