2016 was a whirlwind of a year and that common feeling that millions share extend beyond the hurricane of destruction, personal attacks and offensive comments known as the Clinton/Trump presidential election. In 2016, we saw undeniable proof that racial and gender-based injustices are still alive and thriving.
 
The Brock Turner case is one perfect example. For those unfamiliar with the case, a Stanford student was found guilty of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster; the heinous act resulted in the defendant being charged  with two counts of sexual penetration of an unconscious woman and an additional account of assault with intent to commit rape. However, for these very traumatizing crimes, Turner received the minuscule sentence of six months at Santa Clara County Jail and three years of probation, in lieu of the 14 years in prison that he should have received. To make matters worse, Turner was released after serving three months of his rather short sentence.
 
The public outcry surrounding the lenient sentencing of such malicious crimes, showed that issues involving sexual assault on campus, gender privilege as well as racial privilege are still alive and rampant — both Tuner and presiding judge Aaron Persky are both Caucasian men.
 
Barely a month following Turner’s exit from Santa Clara County Jail on September 2, the current Republican candidate for president was caught on tape with former Access Hollywood host Billy Bush not only admitting to, but also bragging about committing sexual assault, stating that “when you’re a star, they let you do it.”
 

 
While America has lost its sense of anything being surprising anymore, Americans not supporting the Oompa Loompa in Chief were surprised that not only did he stay in the campaign, but that he ended up winning despite the sexist and predatory remarks caught on tape. Among many lessons proved on Election Night 2016, the election proved the same lesson that that Brock Turner case did only months before; sexism wasn’t gone in any conceivable way.
 
The very day after Donald Trump was inaugurated, January 21st 2017, became the day of the “largest single-day protest in American history”, The Women’s March. According to the Women’s March site, the event occurred in over 400 cities throughout America and an additional 168 cities abroad. The peaceful protests drew millions of individuals to advocate for women’s rights, immigration reform, healthcare reform, reproductive rights, the natural environment, LGBTQ rights, racial equality, freedom of religion, and workers’ rights.        
 

Protest Signs at the Womens March 2017 on Washington

Protest Signs, Women’s March 2017 (slate)

Not a single person was arrested in the three largest cities where the march occurred; along with the platform being a meaningful way to protest address civil injustices and issues, the Women’s March had some of the most clever signs, including “When Voldemort is President, we need a nation of Hermiones” and the very agreeable “Ugh, where do I even begin?”.
 
After a year ripe with stories about sexual misconduct and assault, blatant examples of sexism such as Michelle Williams being paid less than one percent of what co-star Mark Wahlberg was paid for “All The Money in The World”, and  rise of the “#MeToo” movement, The second Women’s March was undoubtedly needed.
 
As expected, sexual misconduct was the focal point of the 2018 installment of the Women’s March; popular singer Halsey told the New York City’s Women’s March about her terrifying experience being sexually assaulted, having a miscarriage and the ample support her friend received from Planned Parenthood via a poem entitled “A Story Like Mine”. Several other notable figures from the reproductive and civil rights communities were in attendance. Some of them included Scarlett Johansson, Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards and Malcolm X’s daughter, Ilysah Shabazz.
 

 
If these malicious issues and injustices were not still prevalent, then The Women’s March wouldn’t have happened. If these issues were not widespread across the world, then there would not be protests from Fairbanks, Alaska to Melbourne, Australia. If there was not a general sentiment that many people are or could be affected by discriminatory policies which the current administration practices, why did a total of five million people march?
 

An image of the 2018 Women's March Agenda: Power to the polls

2018 Women’s March Theme: #PowerToThePolls (powertothepolls)

These issues, whether they be reproductive rights or sexual assault, are every bit as widespread and relevant as they were a year ago. The Women’s March demonstrates that although these issues are nowhere near extinct — and that the Trump administration might be playing a huge part in making up these discriminatory policies– there is now a fierce resistance in the country that is not backing down.
 
And given The Power to The Polls initiative to register voters in Nevada regardless of who they’ve voted for, America may be in for quite a ride in the midterm elections.

 

 

 

What are your thoughts on the 2018 installment of the Women’s March? Tweet me @CaptainKasoff and let me know.