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Reflecting on the Women’s March

Like many women after the elections in 2016, I was outraged but more than that, I was so  disappointed in the lack of white women and men standing up for what this country needed. Because of that, I was excited for the first Women’s March in Utah. Because I live in Utah, there wasn’t a way to get to DC (although I wanted to), but I still wanted to feel like I was a part of what was hopefully a growing movement. I excitedly made a plans to go to the first march in Park City with my little sister and some girlfriends.

2017: Now, I wish I could tell you how amazing the first Women’s March in Utah was, but being Utah and Park City in January, there was a massive snow storm. And, surprisingly, given Utah’s conservative reputation, lots of people felt like me, so we were stranded in standstill traffic on the way to the march (some of the traffic due to the march, some to the blizzard). Instead, we missed the march and watched the feed on social media and took a picture in the snow bank outside the city.

2018: The next year came around, and this time, I was not missing the Women’s March for anything. I planned a trip down to Vegas just for the march and took my my little sister with me. I was two months pregnant at the time and was so SICK, but this was not stopping us. The Women’s March was everything and more. We were surrounded by supporters, and I was reminded of how necessary and important this movement was.  There was a contingent of folks protesting the march, which just proved our point of how much the women’s movement was needed. The women speaking at the march and the empowerment and motivation was emotional and inspirational. Every woman there, and a small contingent of men, were positive, encouraging and welcoming. I was so happy to finally physically be apart of the women’s movement, working toward positive change.

2019: This year, I again wanted to make sure I participated in the Women’s March but for another reason as well. My daughter is 3 1/2, and I knew she would be at a place this year to understand more about what the march represented. The march I attended this year was in Provo, UT. Which for those unfamiliar with Utah, is a very conservative and incredibly religious city (the stereotypical view of Utah). The march in Provo was small but the feeling was peaceful and loving. My daughter kept turning around and looking at me as we chanted and clapped. She wasn’t concerned at all but was observational and interested. Attendees at the Women’s March in Utah knew that we were there because we all saw things differently and wanted something bigger. I overheard a person next to us who had gone to this march last year comment, “it was so small.” You could see the encouragement in his eyes as he looked around the group this year and saw hundreds instead of a handful.

In so many ways, attending the Women’s March in conservative Utah was the most heartening, because my daughter was there and because we were demonstrating that we could build a better place for her. The Women’s March has been surrounded by controversy, especially given the anti-semitism of the original organizers, but my experience in the West has only seen empowerment, solidarity, and support. I can’t wait for 2021, and I hope that some of the work we’ve done over the past three and a half years will pay off at the polls.

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