My future potential is not limited

Last Friday, President Donald Trump was sworn into office. No doubt, it was a historical day. However, the events that presided after the inauguration are what I find truly groundbreaking. On Jan. 21, 2017, women and men around the world gathered together and marched. According to the Women’s March on Washington website, the marches were held to “send a bold message to our new government on their first day of office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights.” From Washington D.C., Los Angeles, New York City and even my hometown of Austin, women proved that our voices are loud, impactful and won’t be going anywhere anytime soon — I am woman, hear me roar. Many people don’t understand why I support the women’s march and would have marched if the opportunity had presented itself. Allow me to explain.

That afternoon, my Mimi called me. She was in complete and utter awe of the number of women and men who were marching across the globe. She wanted to make sure I understood the importance of what we were witnessing on the news and social media. “We are taking a stand, Morgan,” my Mimi said. “The silence of women has ended.” All her life, my Mimi carried around the stigma of being a woman, constantly trying to understand why she was not seen as equal to the boy next door. Throughout my life, my Mimi has pushed me to have a voice, to speak my mind and stand up for what I believe in. Both my parents and my Mimi made sure I never felt like I was not equal to the boy next door. I was as smart as him, as strong as him and was to destined to accomplish as much as, if not more, than him. My potential was not limited because I was born a girl. As I have become older, I learned quickly that not everyone views women the same my family does.

Women are still paid less than men for the same job. Women are still raised to believe that they must choose between career and family; that we can’t have both. Women still do not have complete control of their bodies. Women are still considered the weaker gender — does the phrase “you play like a girl” ring a bell? Women are still told how to dress in order to prevent men from getting distracted.

I support the Women’s March because without the strong, opinionated women that came before me, I wouldn’t have the right to vote, go to college or become the journalist I hope to be. I support the Women’s March because I’ve kept my thoughts to myself one too many times, purely out of fear of upsetting others or being seen as unattractive. I support the Women’s March because I will not continue to watch my gender sit in the corner of a man’s world.

I believe in equality. By definition, equality means “the state of being equal, especially in status, rights and opportunities.” Regardless of gender, age, religion, race or sexual preference, we are all equal humans.