I think we can all agree that 21st January 2017 will go down in history as a day to be remembered by millions across the globe. If nothing else, today was the first time I switched on the news in the morning and actually saw something that made me smile, and gave me hope that things might just be alright after all in such a long time.
If you are unaware, 21st January 2017 marked the day that millions of protesters took to the streets of cities across the globe to make their views clear about gender equality, and those whom they feel threaten it, including President Donald Trump. Here are a few facts to fill you in:
One million protesters AT LEAST
Biggest protest in the U.S. since 2006
600+ individual protests worldwide
Protests on all 7 continents
Protests in 75 countries
It’s kind of a big deal…
Let me first just make one thing absolutely crystal clear: I am all for PEACEFUL protests and marches allowing people to stand up for what they believe in. Of course, with all widescale protests, there will be some who chosse to turn to violence; this is not right, and I do not support this. Overall, however, today has been about protesting and marching PEACEFULLY, and so when I refer to the global protests that occurred today, I am referring to the majority who protested without resorting to violence.
I am fully behind every single person — man or woman — who left their homes to march today: they are the people who make me feel proud to be part of this whole thing. Believe me, if I could have gone to the #WomansMarch in London, I would have done so; my parents would never have allowed it, and besides, London is a dangerous place right now. It sounds insignificant, but I took the time to scroll through my Twitter feed, reading all the stories of those marching, watching as events unfolded across the globe, and living the whole thing through 140 character snapshots of others’ experiences.
Everyone on this planet deserves equality, and a fair shot at life, and those who deny them it are ultimately the biggest losers. Your gender, age, race, sexuality, beliefs, family, lifestyle — none of it should EVER affect how you are treated as a human being. We are all entitled to equal opportunities, an equal life and equal rights; this is what happens when they are at risk.
I think that actress Scarlet Johansson summed the whole thing up really nicely:
“President Trump, I did not vote for you. “That said, I respect you are our president-elect. I want to be able to support you, but first I ask you to support me.”
I think it is so, so beautiful — all of these people, united against one very wrong idea: the lack of equality. How much hope does that bring you? How reassuring is it that, finally, we live in a world where we can stand together and fight for what is right, what is fair, and what is in everybody’s best interests? Thinking about it makes me smile like an idiot; I’m just so pleased that both women AND men, regardless of where they are from, recognise the issues faced by so many people — people just like themselves, just like you and me. And then, how much joy does it bring you to see that they’re are prepared,– willing, even — to get themselves out onto the streets and stand up for what they believe in?
Then, there are those on social media, in newspapers, on blogs and publishing content outside of the marches — they too are brilliant. Not everyone is able to march, whether it be due to age, availability or safety, but anyone can get online and make their beliefs known, and millions of people have done just that today. HOW AMAZING IS THAT?! Yet more people are uniting and fighting for what is right, and what they know is fair.
If today has taught me anything, it is this: when there is a worldwide issue, with ammunition slowly building up over centuries and generations, it takes just one spark for those people to stand up and make themselves heard. And regardless of your view on the whole thing, you can’t deny that today, people were heard.