From #MeToo to Times Up to marching: 2018 is the year of women

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From #MeToo to Times Up to marching: 2018 is the year of women

Elenie Gonzalez, Staff Reporter

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One year after the 2017 Women’s March, women (and men) across the globe once again gathered in unity to advocate for women’s rights, human rights, immigrant rights, LGBTQIA rights, Ω

Last year’s march was held one day after Donald Trump’s inauguration, and was meant to protest the then-incoming president and his views, words and actions.

This year the message has not changed, but has only become stronger as the 2018 Women’s March has turned from a demonstration into a full-blown movement. Women will not stay silent and they’re planning to make that known during the upcoming mid-term elections–I know I will.

We’re only one month into 2018 and women’s voices are as loud as ever. Earlier this year during the 75th Golden Globe Awards, women in Hollywood wore black to show solidarity for the Time’s Up movement, which aims to speak out against sexual assault, harassment and inequality in the workplace. From the red carpet to Oprah’s fiery speech, as she became the first black woman to receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award, that night set off a fire storm as the fight against those men who have taken advantage of and exploited women continued to roar.

The #MeToo Movement is also going strong as more women are using their platform on social media to let it be known that they are survivors of sexual assault, hoping to find an end to sexual violence.

Last week, the sentencing hearing of former Olympic team doctor Larry Nassar began. He was accused of sexually abusing over 140 women and girls. One by one, each survivor came forward to face Nassar and let him know exactly how he hurt them and took advantage of their vulnerability when they were under his care. I watched as Olympic gold-medalist Aly Raisman so bravely stood before her abuser, boldly stating, “We are here. We have our voices and we are not going anywhere. And now, Larry, it’s your turn to listen to me.”

Day after day as new stories continue to surface about the injustices and crimes against women, men, children, the LGBT community and immigrants, there will be other voices making sure they’re heard and that they have someone standing up for them fighting for change too. This is exactly what allies of the Women’s March, Time’s Up and #MeToo seek to do.

Like Oprah said, “a new day is on the horizon!” It’s true.

As a woman, I feel as empowered as ever, knowing I am part of this force of strong women and the men who help them. I will use my voice to vote, I will use my platform to speak out against harassment and I will stand with those who cannot.

This is the year of women. This is the year the world will witness just how much women can make this world a better place and influence others to follow suit. Last year was tough for women as the government threatened issues we care about and those in power tried to silence our voices.

Our hope and our courage is growing stronger. This year we are rising into power and we will see more women become political leaders, directors, work in STEM and so on. We will continue to celebrate the legacy of those that came before us like Susan B. Anthony, Marie Curie, Rosa Parks and Katharine Graham.

We will make a name for ourselves. It’s our turn.

Follow Elenie Gonzalez on Twitter @eleniegonz

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