Women’s March: An Exploration of Expression in Times of Distress

by Hayley Broderick and Amelia Wright

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(left to right, top to bottom: Boston, MA; Boston, MA; Washington, D.C.; Washington D.C.)

After weeks of cloudy dismal skies, the sun finally shone through over the Boston Common. Pink hats covered the area in roaring support of women’s rights. After a hugely successful march in protest of the presidential election just months before, it seemed almost unreal that this march could be bigger than the one previous. Nearly 175,000 people congregated for this monumental event.

-Hayley


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(LEFT TO RIGHT, TOP TO BOTTOM: WASHINGTON, D.C.; WASHINGTON D.C.; WASHINGTON, D.C.; BOSTON, MA.)

The people marching the streets of D.C. fought for my rights: my right to safe health care, to equal pay, to fair opportunity, and so much more. The crowd of half a million people marched past the White House in support of me, and I in support of them. It was a feeling of idyllic community, one which I have never felt before.

-Amelia


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(LEFT TO RIGHT, TOP TO BOTTOM: BOSTON, MA; WASHINGTON, D.C.; WASHINGTON D.C.; BOSTON, MA.)

Cheers erupted as Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren spoke to the crowd. Signs aimed to empower women throughout the country floated above the heads of what felt like the entire population of Boston. A feeling of strength and community flowed from one body to the next. Men and women, young and old, of all ethnicities and sexualities, fighting together for what should be born rights.

Hayley



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(ALL PHOTOS TAKEN IN WASHINGTON D.C.)

But the people marching were not just fighting for women’s equality. There were queer rights signs, signs in support of the transgender community, signs supporting the disabled and the mentally ill. The most striking to me were the countless signs supporting intersectional feminism. In the weeks before the march, I read article after article about the racism of this march. To the black women who felt unwelcome and still showed up to fight their own battle, I thank you, and I commend you. The number of times I heard, “And ain’t I a woman?” shouted in support on January 21st was inspiring. The roots of the march may have been exclusive or ignorant, but the individuals who came out created a very different scene, something essential to fight for, and a beautiful array of color in the crowd.

-Amelia


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(LEFT TO RIGHT, TOP TO BOTTOM: WASHINGTON, D.C.; WASHINGTON D.C.; WASHINGTON D.C.; BOSTON, MA.)

Packed into the tight space between the Boston Common and the Public Garden, the movement felt as strong as the sun beating on my skin. Surges of passion passed through me as the flocks of protesters grew more oppressed with each minute, being held back from the streets simply because there were too many of us. 2017 was going to be the year of political unrest and the fight was beginning now.

Hayley


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(LEFT TO RIGHT, TOP TO BOTTOM: BOSTON, MA; WASHINGTON, D.C.; WASHINGTON D.C.; WASHINGTON D.C.)

I woke up at 5am, drove for an hour from my house in Baltimore, hopped on a train into the city at 6:15, and then made our way over to stand in a crowd by 7:30. My sister and I wormed our way up to the front (a process that took around 30 minutes). If Angela Davis was going to stand onstage, I was going to see her flesh and bone. The people around us got antsy at around 1:00, and by 2pm they were begging to march. I stood in awe of the speakers, impressed by the magnitude of this project. When it was time to march, I was empowered and passionate. I was filled with the words of those who are fighting for me. I was ready to make a change.

Amelia


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(ALL PHOTOS TAKEN IN WASHINGTON D.C.)

What truly means the most to me, as a young woman whose ambition and independence is at stake with the current conditions of this country, is the ability for my city to band together and put up a fight against what isn’t right. I know I’m not alone and I know there are future generations who will change the world for the better.

Hayley


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(LEFT TO RIGHT, TOP TO BOTTOM: WASHINGTON, D.C.; WASHINGTON D.C.; WASHINGTON D.C.; BOSTON, MA.)

My mother has always been a pillar of femininity and strength. She raised my sister and me to believe that we are who we make ourselves, not who others want us to be. She raised me to fly home for barely 36 hours in order to fight for my rights and hers. Marching through the streets, I felt my spirit swell with the potential she instilled in me. We stood together, uniform in mind, and vowed to #resist.

Amelia


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ON LEFT: AMELIA
ON RIGHT: HAYLEY
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