Where Do We Go From Here? The Women’s March

Note: see our related post for a BC Law perspective on the march in Washington DC.

In the aftermath of Election Day, I experienced what can only be described as grief in its many defined stages. Like many others, I denied the reality of a Trump presidency, clinging to some false hope that this was all simply a nightmare. I was angry, constantly resisting the urge to lash out at those who seemingly did not grasp the gravity of the situation. My rational mind eliminated the possibility for bargaining before it even began, leaving me depressed and dejected in the face of the never-ending daily news cycles. I waited, almost hoping for the day when it would all be okay, the day when I would finally come to terms with the next four years, accepting the new administration in all of its inconceivability. But I simply could not reach the point of acceptance.

On Saturday, January 21st, I joined the Women’s March in Boston, counting myself among the 175,000 individuals who gathered in Boston Common in opposition to President Trump’s actions towards women in the past, present, and future. Many BC Law students, united in our refusal to accept the current state of affairs, joined the sea of signs and chants, firm in our conviction. In the presence of so many courageous and powerful voices, I was reassured, and my post-election confusion seemed justified and validated. I was not the only one who had not been able to easily accept this transition and the greater principles that the new leader of the free world represents. While the crowd reflected frustration, hurt, and the ever-pervasive disbelief of the past few months, the overwhelming unity gave rise to a constructive sense of purpose, an opportunity to make an impact even at our most vulnerable.

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I stood proudly beside my friends, classmates, and fellow marchers, listening to the words of Senator Elizabeth Warren, who vowed to continue the fight and urged us all to do the same. She not only offered protection and condolence but credence to the wide range of emotions that had plagued our collective existence from November 8th to the present. I attempted to document it all, turning from left to right in the hope of seeing every sign and banner. Marked with clever candor and deeper pain, many of these works of self-expression mirrored my innermost thoughts. The phrase “strength in numbers” had never been so clearly illustrated for me until that day.

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The first week of the Trump administration has not been easy, and it is readily apparent that the guaranteed protection of women’s rights will continue to be a hard-fought battle. Acceptance is not the answer. Action rooted in support for each other must continue long after the buzz of the Women’s March has passed. We must remain diligent in our efforts to protest the normalization of viewpoints that are anything but normal or American. So if you are in need of a little inspiration or proof that you’re not alone in the coming weeks, take a look at this small sample of your fellow justice-seeking feminists. In the words of our champion, Hillary Clinton: “Never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.”

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BC Law 1L Brianna Marshall is originally from central Pennsylvania, and graduated from Bucknell University in 2015 with a degree in Animal Behavior and a French minor. During her gap year, Brianna lived in New York City, working for several nonprofits dedicated to food policy and global hunger. At BC Law, Brianna is now a 1L Section Representative for the Art Law Society and a Staff Writer for the Intellectual Property and Technology Forum (IPTF) Journal. Have questions about life as a 1L? Contact Brianna at brianna.marshall@bc.edu

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