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In 2017, Great Progress Was Made. Will 2018 Be the Year of the Woman?

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by Hannah Benson

2017 was a year to remember, and there have been numerous events that have empowered women.

On January 21, 2017. The Women’s March started off the year strong. Women and men from around the world gathered to stand as a symbol of equality and human rights. It is one of the largest organized protests in U.S. and world history. [1]

As a one year anniversary remembrance of the 2017 march, there will be a second march on January 21, 2018. It’s theme is to bring Power to the Polls. It is scheduled to take place in Nevada, due to the fact that have been many cases of sexual assault and discrimination (that take place there).

Senior Quanai McClain shared, “I think that it’s a good idea. Come on now, we are all coming together as one… if you are upset, that is on you.”

Senior MacKenzie Brannen remarked, “I mean if it’s making a difference and showing that women can come together… it has to be for a good cause.”

The award winning movie Hidden Figures was also very empowering and significant. It told the story of three African-American women who helped NASA during the Space Race, despite the controversial gender roles for the time.

While Hidden Figures was released in December of 2016, it received awards and recognition in 2017. The movie was nominated for an Academy and Golden-Globe award. On February 11, it was awarded “Best Movie,” by the The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. [2] The movie also was named “Best Action/Adventure” movie from Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films. [3]

Sophomore Lexi Shoemaker commented, “With Hidden Figures when it’s not just representation of women, but women of color… it’s good to see representation of everyone as stars in movies. When you are a little kid you want someone to look up to.”

Many people know about the famous “Charging Bull” statue on Wall Street. But on March seventh, a “Fearless Girl” statue was added to the site. It is a small 50 inch bronze statue of a girl facing the huge bull with her hands and her hips, and smile on her face. [4] It was the artist Kristen Visbal who sculpted the statue, and brought the fearless girl to life.

The statue was only meant to stay standing for a month, but Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the statue would stay until February 2018. [5] The statue stands as an example for girls everywhere, that you can do anything and remain strong.

Brannen stated, “it’s trying to show that girls can stand up for what they believe in, and if you are taking that away, you are basically telling little girls, that they can’t stand up for what they believe. We have empowering females and stuff. Maybe a little girl in New York has seen that and thinks I can do that. But when it’s gone, that won’t happen anymore.”

Going back to the realm of movies, Wonder Woman was released June 2nd. It is not only one of the few superhero movies with a female main character, but is the first superhero movie to be directed by a woman. [6] It got a whopping 92% on Rotten Tomatoes, many fans and critics loved the movie. [7] Critic Sandie Angulo Chen commented on the movie saying, “Born to play the role of ‘Wonder Woman,’ Gadot proves that women can be fierce and loyal, as well as empathetic.” [8]

“When you are young, if you only see male superheros, it’s going to tell a girl that you can’t do anything. The girl is just the love interest. But no, we are better than that,” McClain stated.

Brannen shared, “As a little girl watching a movie, with like a male superhero, it tells little girls that they can’t do anything. There is just the female Black Widow, and she isn’t a main character. It’s better to have more movies with women as the leads so girls can look up to them, and that they can know there are places for them, and that they can do what they want to do.”

Another amazing event was that Malala started college this year. Malala Yousafzai is a young Pakistani woman who is an activist for female education. In 2012, only age 14, she was shot in the head for standing up for what she believed in. [9] She lived, and has been a symbol of courage and equality ever since. In 2017, she started attending Oxford University to pursue her dream of finishing school. [10]

Although many important and significant events were not included in this article, women everywhere continue to stand up for themselves, and equality. 2018 has already started strong, and there are already numerous events planned for the new year.

Sources:

[1] https://www.womensmarch.com/march-committee

[2] http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/hidden-figures-henson-top-naacp-image-award-winners-article-1.2970277

[3] http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4846340/awards

[4] https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/03/fearless-girl-wall-street/519393/

[5]http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2017/04/12/the_charging_bull_sculptor_is_right_fearless_girl_should_go.html

[6] https://www.theodysseyonline.com/importance-wonder-woman

[7] https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/wonder_woman_2017/

[8] https://www.commonsensemedia.org/movie-reviews/wonder-woman

[9] http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/10/world/asia/teen-school-activist-malala-yousafzai-survives-hit-by-pakistani-taliban.html

[10] http://time.com/4904192/malala-oxford-university-alevels/