Real Women Answer: What Did You March For?

SincerelyMC was given permission to use all images in this post from individuals who took them.

The day after the Inauguration, millions all over the world took to the streets in what is going to be remembered as a historic women’s march. Thousands of colorful signs, some of which will someday end up in museums, were visible, even in the overhead shots of the millions marching in the streets. Women and men marched in places like Paris, London, Washington D.C., Tokyo,  and other cities and towns scattered across the globe. I acknowledge that my readers have varying political beliefs, but the publication of this post is not to try to persuade anyone to support a certain issue. Rather, it is giving a voice to activists to share their ideas. It is important to me as a young woman to publish personal stories and experiences from women who attended different marches all over America–for their opinions to hold weight and value in our society.

The following post includes written responses to three questions I asked four women who are at different stages of their lives who attended different marches in different cities. Enjoy!

 What Did You March For?

I am marching for myself, my mother, my sister, and for all women everywhere. Audre Lorde said, ‘I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.'”       

Caroline, Age 26. Austin, Texas March. 

“I marched to pay tribute to the women who paved the way for me and for my young nieces who should not have to go backwards in time. After the shock and sadness that overcame me on election night, I marched to be with like-minded people who gave me an overwhelming sense of community and hope.  Most of all, I marched for equality.”

-Sara, Age 36. Denver, Colorado March.

“I have been very fortunate in my life, and I feel responsible to do all I can to help other women who are not as fortunate as I’ve been. I also marched in hope for a future where all of you younger women live in a less polarized country, and opportunities are on a more level playing field.

-Penne, Age 55. Raleigh, North Carolina March.

What Was Your Favorite Moment From the March?

“Oh my gosh..there were just so many cool things! There were parts when we were actually walking in a large group of people. It felt really cool to be marching, holding signs along with all of these other people attending. There were also these chants that we sang while marching. Also-I really liked looking at the signs because there are some really smart and original signs people had there. My arms became so sore from holding my sign all day!”

-Cassie, Age 16. Washington D.C. March.

“I live five blocks from Civic Center Park in Denver, where our march took place.  As soon as we stepped outside of our building, we saw groups of people heading in the same direction with signs, hats and spring in their steps.  I was instantly uplifted. After arriving, my favorite moment was standing in a packed street and having my husband by my side.  This was definitely The Women’s March, but there were amazing, supportive men in the crowd too. This was about all humanity.”

-Sara, Age 36. Denver, Colorado March.

What Does Marching Mean To You As An American?

“I think marching in a peaceful way is a very American thing to do. The suffragettes did it. The civil rights movement did it. When we march, we’re showing our commitment to what we know is right, and a demonstration that happened not just in Washington, D. C., but all over the country and all over the world is about as galvanizing as you can get. But one march, in this case, isn’t going to do the job; there will be more. They won’t always be as fun, we may get tired of marching, but, to crib a little from my Confirmation catechisms, public assemblies like marching are an outward and visible sign of inner stresses within our nation that need to be acknowledged and redressed.”

-Penne, Age 55. Raleigh, North Carolina March.

“I believe in our first amendment. Our country was founded on protest, and dissent is an American value. It’s imperative that we use our right to free speech. Working for the ACLU has opened my eyes to the importance of our constitution, and I’ve dedicated my life to expanding to defending and expanding civil liberties for all people in the country.

-Caroline, Age 26. Austin, Texas March.

Thank you to all of the women who answered questions and provided photographs for this post!


Mary Claire is a 17 year old student and writer who loves politics, campfire smores, traveling, classic movies, and new music.

  1. What great responses! Thank you for sharing them with us. I was particularly struck by Penne’s observation that public protest is “an outward and visible sign of inner stresses within our nation that need to be acknowledged and redressed.” I’ll remember that next time I’m talking to someone who is annoyed or feels inconvenienced by demonstrations. Showing outward and visible signs of inward distress are important, for societies as much as for individuals – they turn bystanders into witnesses, show the fractures that need extra help and healing, and call us to just and compassionate response.

    1. Thank you Angharad! I agree, Penne’s response was wonderful and very insightful about the reasoning behind the marches. You are so very right about the bystanders, witnesses, and fractures–and the immediate response we as a society must take. I hope others will also begin to realize the powerful meaning behind the marches, and what caused them in the first place. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

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