A Day Without Women was March 8, and you could feel the energy on University of Indianapolis’ campus. It began on Smith Mall, where both men and women came dressed in different shades of red. We took a seat on the stones facing the canal, our attention on the speakers. All were respected women, some from our campus and others from the community. They shared why every year, women across the world excuse themselves from their jobs this day and why women march.
For as long as I can remember, women have been fighting back against a system that doesn’t hold the values or rights of women at the level they do men. Women’s pay is about 80 cents to the men’s dollar. So, even though money spends the same way, it is not made the same. Another right is women’s reproductive rights. The fight for birth control and medical safety measures for women began long before 1960, but that is when the major case of all had come; the birth control pill. It is now 2017 and the fight we thought was close to being over, is just beginning with legislation that is put in place to defund what has been a saving grace for most women.
Both women and men remembered this as we began our first lap of three around Smith Mall. As we marched, we thought of the women who struggle to take care of their family because of the setbacks with income. We took each step with minds filled with the women who can’t afford health checks because insurance didn’t deem feminine issues as a necessity. We strode conjuring visions of a better and equal future.
As the march ended, we were left with some words by Patti Stauffer, Vice President of Indiana and Kentucky Planned Parenthood, who borrowed it from Hamilton, “When you got skin in the game, you stay in the game. But you don’t get a win unless you play in the game.” We march because it gives a platform for issues that women struggle with every day. Sure, at this moment in time it seems as if we are trailing behind, but at least we are in the game. If we weren’t present, there would be no way for us to even attempt to win in the future.
Shannon Gaskin was born and raised in the heart of Indianapolis. She is a psychology and creative writing major at the University of Indianapolis. Shannon loves to spend her time eating, volunteering, singing, and writing.