By Cendri Johnson
On Saturday, Jan. 21, over 100,000 people showed up to participate in the Womxn’s March on Seattle. Multiple students from SCC attended this event, including Joana Dizon and Jill Thompson. Jayden Requena attended the Women’s March on Washington D.C..
Requena decided to attend the march in the first place because she wanted to stand up for those who couldn’t be there.
“I recognize that as somebody who has the privilege to afford a ticket, who has that time to take off of work and miss school, I needed to go for people who cannot do that,” she said. She also said that she believes a lot of people in our country hold privilege but don’t realize it, and that having people recognize their own privilege is vital in order for us to move forward as a nation.
While these women are worried about many issues, the ones that concerned them most had to deal with women’s rights. Thompson said her biggest concern was “the protection of my individual rights to private health concerns, specifically contraceptives and abortion matters. My body, my choice.”
The issue of women’s rights could also affect Requena on a personal level.
“I go to Planned Parenthood. They’re my healthcare provider,” she said. So for Requena along with millions of people across the U.S., the prospect of defunding Planned Parenthood is a cause for serious concern.
Thompson was also very concerned about the country’s current healthcare situation.
“The (possible) repeal of the ACA was appalling. The pro-life movement has transformed into putting the ideology of one person ahead of (another) person at (the expense of) individual health,” she said.
“The first amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, which an anti-abortion law would be in support of the Christian ideology, therefore impeding on each woman's independent choice for her own health.”
Other people, like Dizon, may not see an immediate change from the new presidential administration that directly affects them, but they believe they will still feel the shift.
“I think I’m gonna be fine personally, but I feel like the little things I’m gonna see change, like what’s in the media … I might be unconscious and unaware of it but that’s going to seep into me personally,” Dizon said.
All the ladies interviewed agreed that this march was not just about women. It was during this march that Dizon felt she realized something about the message being sent.
“Feminism isn’t really just equal rights for women but equal rights for everyone,” she said.
Thompson also backed this point up.
“So many different political positions were taken last Saturday at the march... (it) encompassed a movement for ALL voices, more than just the voices of women,” she said.
Among the other issues represented at these marches, Requena said she personally supported a few.
“Muslim lives … when I was in D.C. it hit me more than anything else when I went to the Holocaust museum … even though we’re not that extreme you could see those relations,” she said. “We’re all human, to think that we’re going back to putting somebody inferior to another, it just doesn’t make sense.”
Requena also said she was concerned about the president’s intention to move forward with the Dakota Access Pipeline. “He’s creating more jobs but he’s taking away life,” she said. Requena explained furthermore that water is vital for life of both humans and animals, so by moving forward with the building of this pipeline, Trump is willing to put the lives of those who depend on the Missouri River for clean drinking water in danger.
Also mentioned among the largest concerns for these women was the simple yet sinking feeling that society is taking regressive rather than progressive steps.
“We’re going to move backwards … seeing the rights that we have, the resources we have right now taken away from us,” Dizon said.
Overall, however, these women definitely think that the march was a success. Dizon said she saw people from all different backgrounds and all different ages show up to give their support at the march. She and Requena also felt like the marches succeeded in sending an important message to the new people in charge. “With (the) upcoming administration, I think it’s important to show unity right in the beginning, and hopefully this will help it continue on throughout the administration,” Dizon said.
While this march may have been a success, Requena said that this event alone will not be enough.
“We have to continue to show up everyday, all days,” she said. Requena asks everyone to call their senator everyday in order to make their voices heard.
In the end, all three women were glad they marched.
“It’s not a revolution of fighting and guns and war,” Requena said. “It’s a revolution full of love and empathy and acceptance where we seek to understand each other rather than discriminate against each other.”
Washington Senators Contact Info:
Patti Murray (202) 224-2621
Maria Cantwell (202) 224-3441