Music Editor Luke Charnley shares the challenges of his university experience, which are all too familiar to students worldwideWritten by Luke Charnley on 15th February 2018
Women’s March 2018
Bethan Lewis discusses some of the most inspiring speeches made at 2018's Women's March
One year after the first Women’s March in 2017, the event returned to the United States to protest Donald Trump’s policies on immigration and race, also featuring two main movements to campaign for women’s rights. According to data from the University of Denver, between 1.6 million and 2.5 million people were involved in the Women’s March events across the US, demonstrating that President Donald Trump’s government still faces strong opposition from many women.
One of these themes, “Power to the Polls”, focused on increasing voter participation as well as encouraging women to run for office. Many of Trump’s policies have been deemed harmful to women which has led to a surge in female candidates running for office in the US and this movement hopes to encourage even more women to do the same.
“One of the most memorable speeches came from Halsey, who read an intense poem about her own experiences with sexual abuse
The other main movement of the women's march was the #MeToo campaign, which quickly became the driving force behind many of the protests. It helped to demonstrate the issues of sexual harassment and assault, with many celebrities getting involved to spread the word for the cause and making references to their own experiences. These heartfelt speeches helped to shine a light on so many problems in our society, and hopefully increase awareness for sexual harassment.
One of the most memorable speeches came from Halsey, who read an intense poem about her own experiences with sexual abuse. Her speech was filled with raw emotion as she described when her friend was raped when she was 14 years old and was too afraid to tell her parents and ask them for help. These hard-hitting stories continued as she moved on to speak about her personal experiences of being forced into situations she didn’t want to be in and not knowing what to do or how to stop it. She conveyed the message that so many of us have stories similar to her own but don’t talk about it, so we should try to help each other and speak out for those who can’t.
Natalie Portman also gave a moving speech about the media beginning to objectify her at such a young age and how she received rape fantasy letters when she was only 13 years old after her first film. This led to her feeling like she had to cover herself up and not wear certain clothes as she feared for her safety and reputation. She described how she wanted a better world where we can say and wear whatever we like and still be respected and not feel bad for expressing ourselves.
“Gender equality was also a notable topic that was mentioned at the event
Other speeches included Viola Davis, who placed emphasis on the importance of speaking for the women who don’t have the confidence to speak up because of the stigma and shame surrounding assault. Similarly, Olivia Munn argued that it’s essential that all women stand together and stop judging each other so that future generations can grow up with different mentalities and never feel like they’re alone.
Gender equality was also a notable topic that was mentioned at the event, with Eva Longoria speaking about the importance of this movement to call for a change, so that women can feel safer, more respected and receive equal pay and representation. This demand for equality was also part of Scarlett Johansson’s speech who wants to reach a place of equality where we move away from the social norms of the past where women have less power in relationships compared to men.
Overall, these powerful speeches highlighted many of the challenges women face with sexual harassment and equal rights. They encourage us to speak up for those who struggle to do so for themselves and eventually move forward to a better society where women don’t have to face the same experiences that many of our generation have.