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GHS reacts to the Women’s March

Katia Savoni and Kenzie Defoney

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January 21st, 2017. A crowd of protesters accumulate upon the front steps of Chicago’s Art Institute, as the sun rises above the city on an uncharacteristically warm winter day. The march commences, creating a wave of pink, hand-woven pussycat hats and inspirational picket signs. Michigan Avenue gushes with thousands of chanting people, taunting and challenging their new president: a worldwide resistance is now underway.

“I marched because this November I was really upset by Trump’s election. First of all, it wasn’t expected and second of all, it was so degrading to have someone in office who not only disrespected women but minorities worldwide,” said sophomore Kristin Ralston.

This January marked the four year traditional Inauguration Day; however, unlike tradition President Trump sparked a movement. The Saturday following the inauguration men and women marched in order to support women’s and human rights. What started in Washington sparked a global phenomenon. All seven continents joined America’s force from continents like Antarctica to countries like Saudi Arabia to raise awareness to what the organizers describe as their mission.

Despite the turn out, not all GHS students supported the March on Washington.

“Well I didn’t support it, I don’t think that women are oppressed in our country and I guess some of the comments that Trump has made have been against women and I can see why they would be in disapproval of them, but I don’t think that we have any less rights than anybody else in the country and so I just didn’t support it,” said junior Morgan Anderson.

The results of the high school’s mock election gave President Trump the win. There are many reasons why GHS students supported Trump.

“Because he is against illegal immigration, he’s against abortion, he’s very for small businesses and lowering taxes for the wealthy, and all of those things kinda impact like me and my family directly,” said Morgan Anderson.

High school students have critical opinions on politicians and President Trump is not a traditional politician.

“I wouldn’t say I necessarily support him, but I’m more open minded to someone who has a different perspective. I think he’ll have something unique and so it’ll be interesting to see what he can do for us as opposed to the politicians we have always had in the past,” said senior Maddie Brown.

Other students have also spoken out about certain women’s rights ideas with which they disagree.

“Yeah, I would say for me personally it is never something I would do, getting an abortion, and it’s never something that I support. I do not think we could necessarily go backwards on it because I think people will find a way to do those things regardless whether there is a law or not, so I feel like going backwards will not help, nor will taking away those laws. It will not do anything because people will figure out how to do it either way,” said Maddie Brown.

However, when it comes to women’s reproductive rights, even some Trump supporters think differently.

“It doesn’t really matter that he’s a businessman or anything, but the idea that there’s a Republican in office, in general really excites me. I don’t like liberals, at all, it’s just not me. The only thing I’m liberal on is abortion though. I feel like they should have the right to choose, like I wasn’t able to go down to the parade, but I would’ve,” explains senior Lawson Frank.

Those who did go to the march felt the same way in regards to abortion and the pro-choice movement.

“I marched primarily because of Mr. Donald J. Trump’s stance against abortion, and women’s rights in general because I think they’re abominable and the stigmas around abortion need to be eliminated promptly,” says senior Mary Grace Neville.

GHS junior Fionnuala Cottrell had the opportunity to attend the march in Washington D.C., and gave Voyager insight towards the atmosphere that she experienced.

“Being in Washington was really amazing. Especially marching up as close as we could be to the White House, just standing in front of the White House was definitely very empowering. It was also very sobering because you know that you’re there with thousands of other people and you’re not there to have fun or to celebrate. You’re all there because you’re angry and you’re unhappy with how things are and how things might be.”

She expressed her thoughts on women who did vote for President Trump.

“I think that it’s really sad, and it’s really embarrassing and moreso the fact that people–women especially–defend him is what I find to be just depressing. The women that face this sort of disrespect and can justify it in their own minds is really sad and I think it says something about our society and our social system,” said Finnuala.

Another aspect of the march that stood out were the creative signs being carried by the protesters.

We asked Mary Grace Neville to describe her poster, “It was a lovely sign with Mr. Donald J. Trump’s face cut out onto pictures of Mr. Krab’s body, and it said ‘Washington is unfair, Donald Trump is in there, standing at the concessions, plotting his oppression,’ which is a reference to the Sponge Bob going on strike episode.”

While Neville’s sign was a more light hearted jab at Trump, other signs, such as Kristin Ralston’s, were more serious.

“Well mine was ‘Grab Trump By His Misogyny’ and there was a ton of others . . . . There was one that had Donald Trump as like a puppet and then Putin was controlling him, so I liked that one.”

Morgan Anderson added that, “People pin Trump supporters as bigots and homophobes and I’m definitely not that. On things like homosexuality I’m very moderate because I’m also religious, so that goes against my religion but I do believe in equality so I don’t believe that they should be scrutinized for that. Also, I’m against abortion because of my religion, and I think that’s one of the main reasons why I support him and his healthcare and how he doesn’t like illegal immigration. I don’t think that that’s right because if there’s going to be open borders there should be no social reforms, and if you want to keep the social programs there should be closed borders.”

On the other hand, Fionnuala Cottrell further explains the significance she believes of the Women’s March.

“I would say that even though it’s called ‘The Women’s March on Washington’ and that we’re marching for women’s rights and things, intersectional feminism is something that is growing and I think more people need to be aware that we’re not just marching for women’s rights. Intersectional feminism includes a big group of people who all are looking for equality and all looking for similar protection of their rights including the LGBTQ community, muslims, mexicans, and lots of people, not just women. And so people who look at the march and say ‘oh women, they’re only marching for like one thing or two things like that’s stupid.’ Even though it’s called The Women’s March it’s just inclusive of so many other issues in our society.”

Despite the different opinions stated from both sides, Kristin Ralston explains why it is important to bridge political divides among her peers.

Kenzie DefoneyKenzie Defoney

“I would just say to stay hopeful and like Trump’s going to do well I hope he doesn’t do those things, but he’s probably going to do some offensive things, but we should all stay positive despite the situation that we’re in”.

 

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GHS reacts to the Women’s March