The feeling was palpable; an electric current of energy seemed to pulsate beneath the streets of Manhattan as an army of pink-clad protesters gathered at Columbus Circle beneath the ostentatious gold sign of Trump International Hotel. Pops of pink “pussy hats” and flashes of cheeky poster boards rose up by the minute as more than 200,000 people joined the Women’s March 2018 in New York City.
A year ago, the Women’s March took place around the country—and world—as people marched in defiance against the inauguration of a man whose divisive politics threaten the pillars of society we stand on. Men, women and children marched against racism, against xenophobia, against anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and gender inequality in an effort to show the world that Donald J. Trump does not represent the American people.
A year into the Trump presidency and it seems the Women’s March has only gained momentum, fueled by the recent #MeToo movement and spotlight on the rampant sexual harassment women experience across industries. Whereas last year’s march had a feeling of defiance and solidarity—a gathering in the face of a president who lost the popular vote by a bigger margin than any other president in U.S. history, according to The Independent—this year’s march had an angrier tone that seemed to say “enough is enough.”
“I’m done with men feeling like they have some sort of power over women,” said Amanda Kowalski to The New York Times. “I’m definitely done with having a president who believes that he has the power to take things from them, to take things that are provided—like Planned Parenthood—from women, when they deserve the same sort of health care as anybody else.”
As movements like #MeToo and Time’s Up continue to force the public to confront how it treats women, the revolution grows stronger by the second. The theme of this year’s Women’s March—which drew over four million people worldwide—was “Power to the Polls”—a nod to the upcoming November midterm elections and a call to action for everyone to go vote democratic politicians into office.
“It’s a marathon fight, not a sprint,” Marianna Martinelli told HuffPost. “Now it’s 2018, we’ve got our eyes on November and trying to support candidates that are gonna be able to make a change in D.C. So I think we know that it’s gonna be the long haul. It’s not guns blazing—we’ve gotta keep the pace, keep fighting.”
In response, Trump acknowledged the Women’s March with a tweet, choosing to comment on the weather and encourage women to “celebrate” the alleged accomplishments of his time in office.
While Trump’s tweet seems to have missed the point of the Women’s March entirely, perhaps the use of the word “celebrate” is not incorrect. With music playing, chants rising up against the New York skyscrapers and drums accenting the sounds of feet hitting pavement, the Women’s March was a celebration. It was a celebration of hope, of passion and of a future that is looking decidedly more female.