On January 21st, 2017, around 3 million men and women marched for gender equality in all seven continents. Celebrities, children, hashtags, t-shirts, and signs so creative museums are collecting them, were all a part of this soon-to-be historical march. While some say it was a victory as well as a surprising outcome, others look down at everyone who participated in disgust. While it wasn’t only the biggest march in history, it was also very different from other marches. It’s amazing to look at what has changed in protests over time. But what’s really interesting about the march are the varying opinions on it. On the day of the impactful march, many jumped with joy, but others were enraged and confused. Below is a list of all the reasons this march was so unlike any others.
- The Numbers
The first women’s march in 1913 consisted of thousands of women. In 1950, the total was around 50,000. Just a week ago, millions marched, topping not just previous women’s marches’ attendances, but all protests in history with its record-breaking number. However, with more people come more ways to participate and speak out about what you believe in. Some had signs, some blockaded paths, and others chanted powerful statements. The number of different ways to bring attention to gender inequality is the biggest it’s ever been.
- Social media
Back when the first ever women’s march took place, the only way to really view it was to see it for yourself in person. Today, the women’s march was promoted, viewed, and remembered all over social media. Every sign, outburst, and group could be seen. Because of this, some have misconstrued the group as the whole by seeing a picture of a small part of the march and assuming a person who decided to conduct their stance in a different way from the crowd spoke for everyone there. Social media has completely changed how we see protests these days. There have been videos of people speaking out about why they support or don’t support the women’s march. Sadly, there have also been ‘memes’ that target the entire march, questioning the point of it and everything the people who participated believe. Furthermore, with social media, people have had more opportunities to express their opinion on the march, and some are attempting to completely persuade others to see it in a more negative light.
- Men marched with them.
The first women’s march surprisingly had men form a human shield to protect people watching it from harassment. Recently, tons of men stood alongside women, trying to gain more equality as if they themselves were women. The number of men who supported women’s equality was incredible, and even included many male celebrities such as Ian McKellen, James Franco, and musician The Edge.
- Inauguration Day While everyone hopefully marched for women’s rights, there were many other groups marching for entirely different things. Some were strictly against the newly-elected president, Donald Trump. Others were there in support of him. It was a day of many large groups, all enraged or motivated for their own reasons. Trump’s is one of the most controversial inauguration days in history, so of course it’s going to change some people’s outlook on the parade. His inauguration was a day where many strong opinions clashed together, and it was one of the hardest days America has ever faced.
So today, any protest will be different, but we all have to appreciate how they’ve changed over the years, while not letting our view of something so powerful be so easily persuaded. The march was extremely different for many reasons, some good, and some bad, but the most important thing is that it shows how strong our society is. One of the most important things, however, is that the Women’s March shows how people can come together to stand up for what they believe in. Our society is growing in opinions, but even more, it is growing in strength. The Women’s March will always be remembered as one of the most powerful moments, a continuation of what women started to fight for over 100 years ago.