Attendance at the numerous Women’s Marches across the globe shattered expectations this past Saturday. The centralized message released by the Women’s March on Washington was somewhat vague, but each and every person in attendance had their own reason for marching.
The following women and men attended marches around the country (though most were located in California) and shared their accounts with us regarding their inspiration, experiences, and hopes:
“I remember what life was like for young women before Roe v. Wade, and I don’t want to see us go backwards. Plus, all these men who are against a woman’s right to choose...all they have to do is use protection and these women wouldn’t be getting pregnant. Let them take some of the responsibility! I marched with my 24-year-old granddaughter and her friend and it was a very positive, uplifting, special day, and I plan to join others.” - Joyce Raymer
"I participated in the Women's March on Washington: Oakland because I wanted to stand in solidarity with the communities that will be hurt by [Trump’s] presidency. Being a white, educated woman in California, Trump's presidency will likely not have any negative impacts on my life, but I know that is not true for millions of people across the country and around the globe. So I marched to show solidarity with those folks and to show that I will continue to fight to protect their rights, freedoms and opportunities.” - Sierra Marcelius
"I attended the march in Paris with some friends because I think it is important to participate in representing my generation in social and political environments. The march was inspiring and incredibly empowering - seeing the amount of older women, men, and young kids attending was definitely a gratifying feeling. I was a little surprised to see the strong presence of anti-Trump feelings - many French people were chanting things against him in French, as well as holding posters mocking or denouncing inappropriate things he has said or done. Attending the march was an empowering experience which showed a strong support system for women and their rights world-wide, as well as a proof of a transnational stance against Trump's sexist/racist/xenophobic words." - Aisling Gallagher
“This was definitely larger than any march, rally, or protest I'd ever participated in, and it was empowering to be surrounded by so many activists. I hope that this march serves as an entry point into political activism for those who weren't as involved before, and that it becomes a sustained movement moving forward.” - Codi Vierra
“I hope the march re-energized us all. It’s easy to go to one march, one day, when all of your friends are going. But it’s harder to keep up with the news, harder to call your representatives, harder to give time and money to the organizations that will continue to make a difference. It’s emotionally draining - but it will help.” - Daniela Anderson
“I didn’t walk against anyone and I didn’t walk to send a message to anyone other than the two beautiful, strong, and crazy ladies who have taught me more about women and about myself than anyone in my life. Without my mom and my sister I would not be the man I am today so my message is this: I support you and I love you.” - Justin Graeber
"I marched because I wanted to publicly take a stand against President Trump's administration and the war it has already begun waging against women, POC, and the LGBTQ community... I also marched to feel support; I found it extremely empowering to be surrounded by people who believe the things I do and who are committed to protecting the rights of their community.” - Elisse Miller
“I participated because decisions were being made in my country that left me feeling helpless, hopeless, and like I had no control…Since the election I am no longer willing to smile and nod when unjust comments are being made, and I am no longer willing to shy away from confrontation when someone is speaking with intolerance.” - Maria Restivo
“The march itself was amazing, I was surrounded by thousands of people who believe that I deserve to exist, every time I made eye contact with anyone there was a smile and a little surge of hope for the future.” - Andy Dettinger“I marched for my daughter. She...was assigned to Planned Parenthood for her pediatrician so making sure it keeps funding is important to me...It was a really positive experience, I was happy that most of the signs were pretty positive; there wasn't very much hate at all.” - Sara Atsatt
“Knowing that I was supported and that I supported everyone around me… I hope that those who are feeling alone and outcast know that there is a larger community around the world that loves them and supports them for who they are and what they believe in.” - Ray Hendricks-Key
“I marched because I felt that it was important that we show that we will not sit and let our rights be threatened. It was a call to action and I felt it was important to answer that call… I hope the current administration realizes that we are worth protecting and representing.” - Abigail Hollandsworth
"I marched for sexual assault survivors, who have been blatantly told that they are not to be taken seriously or that their trauma and experience doesn't matter. I marched in adamant dissent against normalizing rape culture, which was vividly exemplified by Trump's statements about the domination and objectification of women. I marched to make sure people know we do not think women being devalued, underpaid, objectified, and violated is okay." - Elizabeth Brekke
Editor's note: This article was a collaboration between authors Kaia Los Huertos and Kendall Shain.
Photo Credit: Shawn M. Griffiths / IVN News