On January 20th, my roommate and I (along with 600,000+ other people) took to the streets of downtown LA to protest for the 2018 Women’s March (LA’s was the largest in the world!). While every person was there for different reasons that are important to them, the one thing we all came together was the goal of getting people to vote. We believe that a democracy is more functional and representative of the populus when all citizens exercise their right to vote in every election (not just the big ones).
The past year saw a lot of changes politically and a lot of people, especially women, are concerned that their rights will be taken away. Every single person in a movement won’t agree on everything, but the one thing we can all agree on is that women deserve all of the same rights as men – that’s feminism: the belief that women and men are equal. Even when our laws claim to be equal, our society is deeply ingrained in a patriarchy (that is a fact, not my opinion – just look at the wage gap or the representation of women in government).
Now I’m not trying to get all political here, but I will say that something very close to my heart is equality. In engineering the disparity is even more prominent. Less than 1/5th of people pursuing undergraduate engineering degrees are women. That’s why I’m so involved in the USC Society of Women Engineers. Our mission is to stimulate women to pursue STEM careers, and luckily we are very heavily supported by Viterbi and our awesome sponsors, both of which believe in our mission. Viterbi’s most recent incoming undergraduate class is 44% women (woo!), but I think we can do better (and we will).
Surprisingly, the Women’s March involved a small amount of marching and large amount of speeches. Luckily, we were really close to the stage and could easily hear and see all of the speakers. Everyone from Scarlett Johansen and Viola Davis to Mayor Eric Garcetti and the CA Attorney General spoke. All with the main goal of energizing people to register to vote and vote in the 2018 midterm elections. Regardless of your political beliefs, it is SO important to encourage EVERYONE to get out and vote. If you’re of age and haven’t already, register to vote!! 🙂