In January 2017, what started out as an idea turned into a movement across the country. Women, men and several celebrities took to the streets in cities ranging from New York, to Los Angeles, to our very own Madison, in what was known as the Women’s March, taking place the Saturday after President Donald Trump’s inauguration.
What the march stood for was perhaps a little unclear, as the purpose ranged from global warming to women’s rights to immigration policies. It seems what united all of these issues was the inauguration of Trump.
Ever since this event, it is undeniable that more and more of our society, especially women, have become more interested in politics. I know personally, the inauguration of Trump was a wake-up call, showing me that perhaps the U.S. is not as welcoming a place as I once fantasized.
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With the #MeToo movement igniting a fire under what was once a seriously ignored problem in Hollywood, many have started to bring the issue of sexual harassment to the White House. But it’s hard to ignore the fact that directors, comedians, actors and even Congressmen accused of sexual harassment are receiving consequences for their actions when a man accused of sexual harassment — who was caught on camera speaking about it — was elected president? Why is he still in the White House?
Truthfully, if we cannot hold the leader of our nation to the same standards as everyone else, we have not made nearly enough progress in acknowledging sexual harassment as a serious problem.
If the past year with Trump as our president has taught me anything, it’s that in times of hardship, we must come together to fight injustice. Seeing photos and videos of all the brave women and men who came together for the second year in a row to use their voices and spread their beliefs inspires me to voice my opinion as well. I was never someone who wanted to talk about my political views online or with strangers, yet here I am, speaking out for what I believe on a public platform.
To all the movers and shakers who are just starting their journey toward bettering our society, and especially to those who have been doing so for years now, thank you. If we can take this unfortunate time in our government’s history and turn it into a time for political activism and a time for more women to enter the political sphere, then maybe the election of Trump could actually improve society, thanks to its unintended consequences.
Courtney Degen ([email protected]) is a freshman majoring in political science and intending to major in journalism.