Commentary By J1 Reporter Rachel Achola
“You see how smart women are, how capable they are and how innovative they are. It makes you wonder why we aren’t given the same treatment and eligibility as men in this world,” junior Tory Roubidoux said. International Women’s Day was on March 8, and the Omaha community celebrated with a Women’s March at Turner Park.
There are countless reasons why people attend the Women’s March. Every individual goes to express their unique beliefs that all lie under the umbrella of having a voice. “More women were running for office this year, yet there was no female nominee for president. The issues are apparent, things are not equal between any race or gender. Basic human rights should already be instilled in the government,” Roubidoux said.
Getting involved in the community you live in is another value attendees bring to the table. “I believe activism at a young age is very important. As a young person, this is an important time to speak your mind and your people are gaining respect for their values,” junior Connie Regan said. “I feel like growing up in Omaha we have a conservative viewpoint pressed on us. It’s important to be active and find our own beliefs that come organically,” Regan said. Regan stressed the importance of supporting these issues as they affect so many girls globally.
It was disappointing this year to not see as many Marian girls at the Women’s March. There are many issues that girls in the Marian community should care about, such as feeling safe after dark in public places or not feeling belittled by having personal opinions.
Regan voiced her feelings about Marian girls not showing up and showing out at the march, as they have in the past. “I would like to see more Marian girls attending because we need more support as an all Catholic girls school. Girls should be able to find their voice, especially in a community that strives for empowerment and compassion.”
Marian is not only a place that cultivates awareness, but also provides a place to feel safe and welcome. However, there is a stigma regarding feminism that has been around for a long time. It is important to know that the March is not about hating men or being rebellious. It is about finding a voice within and taking a stand for future generations.
Looking around, it is better than it has been in the past, but there is a long way to go until women and men will ever be considered equal in the eyes of the world. “There are a lot of misconceptions. Each girl marches for her own reasons. No viewpoint has to be the same as the next. That is the beauty of it,” Regan said.
The March may have been about bringing awareness to serious issues, but it was lighthearted in nature. The sun was shining and smiles were widespread. Many connections were formed. Roubidoux recalled an interesting situation that took place. “My poster said, ‘Woke up feeling like I just might run for President,’ which happens to be my favorite Lizzo quote.” Lizzo is a successful artist who became famous this year. She has many feminist messages in her lyrics and an overall postivie vibe.
“She is known for uplifting other people,” Roubidoux said. “There was an older lady that was walking behind me, and she had read my poster. She said ‘you go girl’. The lady said, ‘I’m so sorry for what we’ve done.’ I said, ‘don’t worry, we’ll fix it’. I mean we are already fixing it. It put things into perspective, seeing her being supportive of such modern and progressive ideas. It was just really cool to see different generations of feminism,” Roubidoux said.
All the girls agreed the dance party at the end of the March was the most fun. “There was a dance party that was inclusive at the end of the March. We made a large group of girls and let loose. Everyone came together and there was no exclusion or pettiness. That is the true spirit of being a woman, we need to be inclusive,” Regan said.
It is important to have a place where girls and boys can gather and just be themselves, where smiles are everywhere and unity is a value. It is a beautiful thing to let go of judgment and find freedom within a community.
“The environment was super fun! Everyone was in a good mood, The sun was shining, and it was definitely the best thing before Corona hit,” Roubidoux said.
The Women’s March was a day that will be treasured as it was before the world changed completely. It brings to light to the value of community, confidence and empowerment.