The student news site of Homestead High School in Mequon, Wisconsin.
Caitlin Geurts in action at the Women's March.

I went to the women’s march, and this is what I saw

I went to my first public demonstration: The Women’s March MKE

The reason  

For years of my young life,  I refused consider myself a feminist. This is because I was taught that a feminist is a bra-burning radical with no true end goal. She was just another woman making noise.

As I have grown up and begun to understand the negative connotation associated with that word, I was often embarrassed to stand up and admit that I, too, believed women and men should have equality between them.

Going to the women’s march for me was more than being a young adult who wanted to be a part of something. It was me, accepting my feminist beliefs, and being surrounded by others who would support me in this.

 

The rally

When I arrived at the Milwaukee County Courthouse at 9:45 on Saturday morning, I was giddy and overwhelmed.

I was greeted with booming #grlpwr (girl power) music, pink hats on almost every head and signs that were true pieces of art. The program began with a message along the lines of, “Women, fems, and allies. Welcome to the women’s march-we all know this needed to come to Milwaukee. Show up and show out, because time is up!”

I timidly snaked through the crowd to take photos of every sign I could…I found hundreds of signs and even more people (men and women) who wanted to share their message with me. Feeling the connection to other people over such strong ideal was something I had never experienced before — blew me away.

The rally section of this march started at 10 a.m. There were several speakers over the next 90 minutes, most of them exploring the issues plaguing women of color (specifically in politics) and indigenous women in our society.

 

The shining light of realization

The highlight of these speeches for me, however, was the woman who stood up and told us that women, especially young women, need a seat at the table. To that message, I had no problem whooping and hollering along with the rest of the crowd.

After speeches by several young women, I came to a realization: As young women, a lot of us are often trained to protect ourselves and to be on guard at all times. I have no problem admitting that I am brave and adventurous young woman, and I don’t always follow this training. I say that we should forget giving women a seat at the metaphorical table, because we (women) need to fight for it. If you want to sit down, build yourself a freaking throne.

 

The march

After the very long, very cold, and political nature of the speeches (the one thing I really did not enjoy), we finally headed off to the Wisconsin Center.

With signs in tow, and fists in the air, we marched. We were honked at by passersby and guided by the Milwaukee Police Department. It was probably a 10-minute walk, and that amount of time is only because everyone was moving so slow (I will say that there were at least 1,000 of us, so I am probably being dramatic about the pace in which we walked). I will be honest, I ended up leaving as we reached the Wisconsin Center.

 

The takeaway

Overall, I don’t know that this experience will completely alter my life from now on. But I do know, that I enjoyed being surrounded by fellow feminists and strong women I should be looking up to.

From this march, I took away an appreciation for the strong women in my life and for what I can do as a woman, to inspire others. I know one thing for sure, I am going to spend the rest of my life making chairs for me, and any other women, who wants a seat at the table.

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