University of Connecticut students reflected on this weekend’s one year anniversary of President Trump’s inauguration and the Women’s Marches.
President Trump was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2017. In his speech he spoke about ending the prosperity of Washington elites at the expense of everyday Americans, putting “America first” and bringing back jobs, borders and wealth to the country.
“American carnage stops right here and stops right now,” Trump said.
On Jan. 21, 2017 the Women’s March on Washington occurred, with an estimated 2.5 million people marching both on the nation’s Capitol Building and in 672 “sister marches” throughout the country and the world to protest the misogyny, racism, homophobia and bigotry they believe Trump represents.
Michaela McKeown, eighth-semester marketing major and UConn Youth for Socialist Action (YSA) Vice President attended the Women’s March on Washington, D.C. and was both inspired by and disappointed with the event.
McKeown said she liked feeling like she was part of something so big, “like a revolutionary turning point you read in a textbook.”
“I remember feeling excited about a matriarchal revolution on the horizon,” McKeown said. “I was excited that more women were getting involved with radical politics. It was great to see Muslim, black, Caribbean, Latinx and LGBTQ sisters coming together to resist hatred.”
However, McKeon said she was disappointed with some aspects of the march, including the majority of its participants.
“There was no structure on where we were going to walk,” McKeown said. “No political demands and organizing. Just a bunch of entitled privileged celebrities (who) were talking about their history of personal oppression.”
McKeown said she especially disliked the “pussy hats” worn at the march to protest Trump’s boasts of grabbing women’s genitals on an infamous 2005 Access Hollywood tape.
“It was so trans exclusive,” McKeown said. “And the fact that they were pink just gave into the gender binaries perpetuated through the patriarchy.”
McKeown said she felt that, though the women who organized the march were very politically aware and culturally diverse, “their voices were drowned out by speakers like Scarlett Johansson.”
“It seems we are going to have a repeat of this disorganization in the upcoming 2018 march,” McKeown said.
Fourth-semester political science major Kate Seelye said she felt as though she’d had an out-of-body experience while attending the Washington, D.C. Women’s March.
“I could feel myself flying above the sea of pink,” Seelye said. “I’ve never had more hope for the future than when I was floating above the men, women and people passionately devoted to defending the rights of all no matter their gender, race, sexual orientation, religion or whatever else they identify with. That is what made the Women’s March so special for me.”
Fourth-semester theater major Matt Bader said though he agreed with the sentiment expressed at the march, he thought the tone was “rather aggressive.”
“I applauded the effort and thought it was noble, but a lot of the tone was rather aggressive, Bader said. “I get why they were aggressive, but it was a little intimidating to me for that reason.”
Gabriella Debenedictis is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.