Girl Power

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Girl Power

Art credits to Nicole Zhu!

Art credits to Nicole Zhu!

Art credits to Nicole Zhu!

Art credits to Nicole Zhu!

Diya Kulkarni ‘20

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On January 20, 2017 at 12:00 P.M., Donald Trump became the forty-fifth president of the United States. The following weekend, protesters in Washington DC, Los Angeles, Chicago, and countries all around the world held spirited demonstrations as a gesture of refusal of the new president. Millions of women, men, and children marched through the day and into the night during the Women’s March to spread awareness of their cause for equality. Women marched to fight for their rights and those of generations to come, as well as to support other marginalized groups, such as people of color and the LGBT community.

Clearly, as we enter 2017, the United States is sharply polarized. Republicans and Democrats. Men and women. Black and white. Although differences in perspectives and opinions constitute the cornerstone of American democracy, they can also cause animosity and rancor. The purpose of the Women’s March, however, was not to spread hate or cause violence. Rather, it aimed to peacefully raise awareness of the problems women face.

During the campaign, Donald Trump’s sexist comments and inflammatory rhetoric caused many women and minorities to feel out of place or unsafe in their own country. Now that he is running the country, women want to ensure that their voices are heard, and that their concerns are not overlooked or brushed aside during the next four years.

To that end, celebrities such as Ariana Grande, Madonna, and Alicia Keys attended the marches, interacting with participants and making speeches. Scarlett Johansson, for example, publicly asked Trump “to support my daughter, who may actually as a result of the appointments you have made, grow up in a country that is moving backwards, not forwards.” Similarly, Madonna, who has seen almost twelve presidencies during her lifetime, feels that this president is by far the most concerning. In her speech, she expressed with profound language how love is always more important than hate.

Numerous Ridge students and teachers also participated in the marches. Nicole Schottenfeld ’20 states she “felt very empowered as I was surrounded by so many other brave women that I felt connected to.”

Women have been struggling for equality since the 1800s, when they fought for the right to vote. Now, in modern America, they face a whole new set of challenges. Yet it is important to remember that even we, as teenagers, have the power to contribute our voice and help overcome these challenges. After all, in order to defend the rights of a society, each member must become an active participant in democracy and help fight for justice and equal opportunity.

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