Columnists, Columns, Opinion

Miss Leading: Forward together, not one step back

I am an American citizen. I am a person of color. I am a woman — a nasty woman, I might add. For these three facts about myself, I have the power to fight for my rights.

On Saturday, as a continuation of the Women’s March that took place in January of 2017, the empowered women and people of this country (including myself) stood in solidarity for the rights we deserve as citizens of the United States. Donald Trump — a man who has gotten away with nearly every offense he has committed — lives in the White House and has the power to do basically anything he pleases without any consequences, while the majority of the people in this country — people who don’t fit his idea of “normal” —  feel the effects of his actions.

While Donald Trump has upset many liberal people of this country, I think he has also allowed us all to realize the true depth of problems that are still prevalent in the United States. For example, on average in this country there are close to 322,000 women who are sexually assaulted each year. While there is video proof of the president of this country talking about how he can kiss women whenever he wants and “grab them by the pussy,” he denies having ever sexually assaulted women, and people actually believe him. For too long in our society, women have been forced to act or live a certain way.

At this point in time, a woman’s place is not in the kitchen — it’s in the resistance. The Time’s Up movement, a campaign that was created to fight for the survivors of sexual assault, has proven that real change can be done to better this country.

This Saturday, I participated in the Women’s March for the second year in a row, and I started to understand how powerful it is to be both a person of color and a nasty American woman at this time. When it comes to our rights as people of this nation, I have realized that Donald Trump likes to abuse his power in every possible way, especially when he single-handedly tries to silence women for having a voice.

But for me and other women of the United States, this does not scare me. The fact that Trump thinks he can get away with what he says is humorous, considering that if we stand in solidarity against him, change will happen. The Women’s March is one day of the year, and it is empowering for everyone who believes the radical notion that women are people who deserve fundamental human rights. However, this does not mean that we have to stop fighting for these rights once the day is over. Women’s rights is a fight that I will continue to be a part of for the rest of my life. I hope that one day I can sit back and say I contributed to monumental change in the world’s history that has allowed women for the next thousands of generations to live equally beside men.

American women have been organizing to fight for their rights since at least 1848. That’s 170 years too long in my book. In the words of one of my greatest role models, Malala Yousafzai, “If one man can destroy everything, why can’t one girl change it?”

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