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Santa Barbara Women’s March Inspires a New Generation of Women

People of all ages, races and genders came out to support women
People of all ages, races and genders came out to support women's rights.

People of all ages, races and genders came out to support women's rights.

Photo credit: Sara Muir

Photo credit: Sara Muir

People of all ages, races and genders came out to support women's rights.

By Gemma Sturgeon, Managing Editor

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Six thousand plus people gathered in downtown Santa Barbara on Jan. 21, post-inauguration of President Trump, to march for the cause of women’s rights.

Junior Sara Muir attended the Women’s March in Santa Barbara with her parents.

“I thought it’d be nice to do something,” she said. “Considering the scary political state we’re in right now, as a woman, just doing something.”

Muir described the experience as calm, even with the massive turnout.

“It wasn’t scary or crowded,” she said. “People weren’t pushing, everyone was really nice.”

For people like Muir, the fight for female equality is one that should’ve been resolved decades ago, but the power of uniting over a common cause is gratifying.

“I felt kind of sad, because we felt like we had to do this” Muir said. “It’s something where we had to stand up for ourselves, but it also felt good to do something about it.”

Students weren’t the only ones peacefully fighting for this cause, and this cause isn’t just locally celebrated. Dos Pueblos staff also showed their support for women’s rights. DP ceramics teacher Eliesa Bollinger went down to Los Angeles to participate in solidarity with fellow women’s rights advocates.

She rode to Los Angeles in a bus alongside 500 other women from Santa Barbara, to attend the expected 69,000 person march.

“There were all these young people, and that really gave me inspiration,” she said. “It was great to see kids that were in their twenties, saying really powerful things, there wasn’t anything negative, they were all positive.”

Junior Kyla Murphy was encouraged by her family and friends to participate in the march in Santa Barbara.

“A lot of people there had these matching knitted pink hats, I just thought it was really inspiring to see everyone in Santa Barbara there,” Murphy said. “I saw this little boy carrying a sign talking about women’s rights and I thought to myself, ‘that’s how people should be raised!’”

Bollinger reflected on all the enthusiasm and support she saw in the Los Angeles women’s rights activists.

“They were saying things like ‘build bridges not walls,’ they had all these themes and it just made my heart swell to see that,” Bollinger said. “It’s nice that our democracy allows us our freedom of speech, our first amendment is to let us go out and express our views.”

Murphy was inspired by how fighting for women’s rights is happening in so many places. She encourages others to take part in this peaceful movement.

“It’s crazy how many places were doing this all on the same day,” she said.

Events such as this encourage young people to get involved and be proactive about causes they are passionate about.

“It made me want to learn more about our political situation, and be more active in the community,” Muir said.

Bollinger discussed the importance of young people taking part in peaceful movements such as this.

“We need to encourage our young people to express how they feel about things, so then they can become more knowledgeable, and they can learn more” said Bollinger. “There’s always more power in the people, than there is in just the individual.”  

Women’s rights advocates have been fighting to be heard for decades, but many of the women who marched fear that their journey for equality is far from over.

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Dos Pueblos High School's Student Newspaper
Santa Barbara Women’s March Inspires a New Generation of Women