By Oscar Wolfe
Adults aren’t the only ones who march. We kids want to make a difference too. After the election results, we were just as surprised as any adult was. And just as emotional, frustrated, and worried. Sadly, I was not able to participate in the march because of conflicts. But I thought it was so great that my cousins Ruby Manesis, 11, and Molly Pfeifer, 14, travelled all the way from Chicago to Washington D.C. by bus to be at the Women’s March on Saturday. They’re already back in Chicago. I talked to Ruby and Molly about what is was like to be in the march in D.C.
Kids can make a difference. Women’s rights are human rights.
Why did you want to go to Washington D.C.? Why not march closer to your home in Chicago?
Ruby: We were planning on going to Washington before any of the other marches were planned. We heard about Washington, and thought it would be really cool.
Molly: I feel really great knowing that because we signed up for the DC march so early, we were part of the reason why the other sister marches were made possible.
Did you want to march, or was it your mom’s idea?
Ruby: She found out about it, but I was all for it, and I was really excited about it.
Molly: Our moms did encourage us in the first place, but I didn’t need much convincing. The idea of the march is really important to me, so I was more than happy to go on this trip.
Do you think girls are more affected by the election results than boys? Why did it need to be a “Women’s” march?
Ruby: What Trump has said maybe has affected women more. I think we needed to all come together, now especially, because of this election. There were men there, too. It was a march for a lot of different causes. We just need to come together right now and support each other.
Molly: I think I am more affected than boys. I do think it is important for boys to know and care about these types of issues, and it is totally fine that there were men at the march, but there are differences. We are now on our 45th male president. Not only have there been 45 male presidents, our 45th one also has no respect towards women whatsoever. The things that Trump says about women are really scary. Boys may understand that what Trump is saying is not okay, but are not impacted in the same way as girls when it comes to women’s rights.
Do you think participating in a march makes a difference?
Ruby: I do. All of the world was doing it. And they all started because of [the march in] Washington. So being there, it was like were were contributing to all of the marches. It was good to be there— inspiring other people.
Molly: Yes, I really think I personally made a difference. Every person there counted. Also, the marches are not the only step taken towards equality. Because so many people, including me, were at the march, that causes more women’s rights campaigns to start. Every person who showed support in being there helped to set more actions to take place in the future.
So what was the actual march like?
Ruby: It was very cool…there were soooo many people there! When we were marching in the streets, the streets were just filled with people coming from all directions. It was awe inspiring.
Molly: It was really powerful being there. When marching, I felt really excited to be involved in such an important movement. It was very cool to chant along with the crowd and see all the pink around me. It was really nice to see that so many people care, not only about women’s rights, but important rights regarding equality, such as LGBTQ rights, black lives matter, and healthcare policies.
How was the bus ride from Chicago to Washington D.C.?
Ruby: We thought we were going to be on a pretty nice bus, but they were a bus short, and had to call another. It was kind of old and dirty. One of our friends said it was cause over comfort, and we agreed. Overall, it was a really cool experience to be on a bus with all those people and go across the country.
Molly: To be honest, the bus was a downside to the trip. The other buses filled up very quickly, so we were stuck with “the last bus to leave Chicago.” There were no outlets, gum on the seats, and practically no space. However, although sleeping was pretty uncomfortable, it was still fun to spend time together and go through states I hadn’t been to before.
Any advice about other ways kids can get involved?
Ruby: I think you should see what’s happening in your town or state, see if there’s anything you can get involved with. There are a lot of things going on right now, and you can participate.
Molly: Because of the success in the marches, the people who originally started them are creating more campaigns. Every 10 days for the next 100 days, a new important action will take place. This way, even if you were not able to march, you can still make a difference.