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The social climate in the United States since the last presidential election has been notably unsettled, especially in regards to gender equality, pay discrepancies, and sexual harassment and assault in the workplace. The 2018 Women’s March took place a year after President Donald Trump’s swearing-in, on the anniversary of the 2017 Women’s March (the largest single-day protest in U.S. history). Events were organized across the country, with sister rallies in Canada, the UK, Italy, and others. Protests in the U.S. focused on Trump’s administration and recent policies dealing with immigration and healthcare reforms, as well as reproductive and LGBTQIA rights. A huge section of the movement was stationed in Las Vegas when a rally entitled “Power to the Polls” saw thousands of participants gathering to encourage voter registration and female congressional candidates in the 2018 midterm elections.

Speakers in downtown Los Angeles’s march included Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman, Viola Davis, and Eva Longoria. Portman’s speech focused on her experiences in Hollywood with sexual objectification as a 13-year-old after her first movie, when she shared, “I excitedly opened my first fan mail to read a rape fantasy that a man had written me,” before continuing about a local radio show’s “countdown to Portman’s 18th birthday,” presumably in order to mark the day when she’d be of legal age for sexual relations.

These are the moments from the 2018 #womensmarch you need to know about. Click To Tweet

Last year at the Women’s March on Washington on January 21st, 2017, Scarlett Johansson talked about her experiences with Planned Parenthood at the age of 15, detailing how she and other friends and family had over the years received guidance on reproductive choices and education, cancer screenings, birth control, STD testing, and other vital healthcare services. At this year’s rally, Johansson spoke of the hurdles she’d faced as a woman personally and professionally, focusing on issues of power dynamics and the question of consent versus coercion. Johansson recalled her own history as a 19-year-old and not yet knowing how to say no, and that the discrepancy in power between her and the men she’d worked with in the past had placed her in situations that at times compromised her voice and left her feeling degraded. Johansson went on to say that women had been taught for centuries to be “polite, to pander,” and that she wanted to move forward away from this condition and social norm. “Time’s up on the female condition,” Johansson stated, encouraging women to no longer feel guilty about hurting others’ feelings when things didn’t feel right and to be responsible for oneself and respect one’s instincts.

Halsey performed a poem she’d written at the march in New York City, detailing several encounters of personal sexual assault, a friend’s rape by a mutual acquaintance, and the lack of safety she’d felt even as a public figure in modern times.

On January 20th at 11:51 a.m., President Donald Trump tweeted, “Beautiful weather all over our great country, a perfect day for all Women to March. Get out there now to celebrate the historic milestones and unprecedented economic success and wealth creation that has taken place over the last 12 months. Lowest female unemployment in 18 years!”

For more information on the Women’s March, how to get involved with anniversary events and local gatherings, opportunities to donate, voter registration information, and more, go to their website here.

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