Kalyn Story | Staff Writer
More than 3.3 million people attended women’s marches in more than 550 cities across America on Saturday, according to data collected by the University of Denver and University of Connecticut.
San Antonio freshman Lawson Sadler drove to Austin on Saturday with some friends to march and support women’s rights.
“Marches are incredibly inclusive and representative of what democracy is,” Sadler said. “Marching makes a statement. It mobilizes people and encourages them to stand for what they believe in.”
Sadler said the march encouraged her to get in touch with women’s rights organizations such as Planned Parenthood and support them through volunteering after the march. She said she is proud to be a feminist and was proud to demonstrate her feminism and show support for fellow women through marching.
“I am a feminist because I believe in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes,” Sadler said.
Sadler said she is glad she lives in a country where women have many rights, but she believes America still has work to do in regards to women’s rights. Specifically, she spoke of the wage gap, especially for women of color.
“We have made progress, but there is still consistent oppression of women in our country, especially based on race, sexual orientation and religion,” Sadler said.
Sadler said she was encouraged by the number of children at the march in Austin.
“This march probably won’t make huge changes on political policy,” Sadler said, “but it could change one girl’s mind. It could show one girl thatshe is powerful and important and cared about. That is enough for me.”
Marion, Ill., sophomore Samuel Cedar said he attended the march in Austin in part to be an example for his male friends.
“Men have a lot of privilege and hold lot of weight in political decisions, sadly, involving women,” Cedar said. “This march was humbling as a man and hopefully showed that the world doesn’t revolve around men. I hope I can be an example to a lot of my friends to be opened minded.”
Cedar said he was glad to see quite a few men at the march, not to make himself more comfortable but to show women they are not fighting alone.
“I needed to be careful to make sure it was their march,” Cedar said. “I was there to support and not make it about me at all.”
Cedar said there were some chants that he was not comfortable participating in due to the language, but that he was glad to see women have an avenue where they felt comfortable to express themselves in whatever way they pleased.
“One of my goals in attending the march and talking about it is to normalize feminism,” Cedar said. “It shouldn’t be a radical idea that women are equal and should be treated like it in every way. All issues can be viewed through a feminist lens. I am working on seeing every issue as a feminist one, and I hope more people do too.”
Cedar said he is disappointed that a man he sees as obviously sexist was elected to be president.
“A man who objectifies women the way Trump does should not hold the office of President of the United States,” Cedar said. “He has already taken huge steps back for women’s rights, and it is really sad.”
Cedar said he hopes the march showed women across the world, and especially in Texas, that their voices matter and are heard by millions.