Washington, D.C. — More than 500,000 people gathered on Capitol Hill Saturday to voice their concerns over women’s rights. The Women’s March on Washington, which took place in D.C. and dozens of other communities across the United States, contained men and women demonstrating against a slew of issues, including abortion restrictions, climate change, and sexual assault.
Hundreds of women in pink hats gathered on the National Mall to sign a giant copy of the Constitution. The hats, knit caps with ears on each side, referenced President Donald Trump’s comments about sexually harassing women. Signs ranged from feminist phrases, like “Girl power,” to proverbs: “A woman’s place is in the revolution.” Other signs referenced the Trump administration more generally, decrying Trump’s ties to Russia or declaring that America is already great. Most protesters were women of all ages, though many brought their children or were men.
Bojan Furlan and Eva Mueller from New York had planned on joining the march since they first heard about it. Furlan said they hoped the march would attract more people than Trump’s inauguration on the mall Sunday. An estimated 160,000 people attended Trump’s swearing in.
Mueller, a German native, said the United States is not as progressive as her home country, and she said she is concerned about diminishing women’s rights.
“The clock is being turned back again,” she said.
Their friend — Uta Brauser, who was providing free face painting of the female gender symbol for marchers — also held up a cardboard sign of a uterus, saying it was a symbol for women’s power.
“We as women have power over life,” Brauser said. “We say yes or no to life, and we should decide our politics.”
Junior Macy Mount, who is participating in the Washington-Hillsdale Internship Program this semester, attended the march but did not participate.
“As I observed all the men, women, and children who were participating in the march, I was trying to figure out what their mission was,” Mount said. “There was no cohesive message. I think the vulgarity of their language made more of a statement than anything else did.”
Other students attended marches in Michigan to show their support. Seniors Lauren Melcher and Rachael Reynolds joined a sister march in Ann Arbor.
“What I saw at the march was thousands of other women and men in a peaceful demonstration, and it proved to me that there was more to it than what I was seeing in my little bubble in Hillsdale,” Reynolds said. “It truly was amazing seeing and hearing all of the positive and encouraging thoughts coming alive as we marched. I am prouder than ever to be a woman.”