written by Vanessa Kaelyn

Today, hundreds of thousands of women marched on the streets. Women from all around the world marched, joining together in their different  ethnicities, ages, race, socioeconomic status, and political stance, coming together for one purpose: to empower women and advocate for women’s rights. Men and young boys also marched alongside the women, showing the world that the future is equality. No individual, group, organization, nor government can divide us. We are one nation, one people, one voice.  The world needs to know that feminism is not misandry, not violent, and not something that can be silenced. Feminism is the radical notion that women are human beings. The Women’s March not only further empowered us women, but showed the world that we will not be silenced, we will not be separated, we will not be stopped.

Over the last couple of years, I have grown immensely and really realized the importance of surrounding myself with good-hearted, empowering women who inspire me everyday. Realizing myself as a feminist was an essential part of unearthing my identity. So here are a few goddesses among other goddesses who have inspired me over the years (and will be sure to inspire you), and what they have to say about being a woman: 

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OLIVIA ESSEN// @livi.essen

“I think sometimes I love the adversity of being a woman. It’s a strange challenge- dark and inescapable. It means sometimes, in order to be noticed or given the credit I deserve, I need to work ten times harder to be five times better. But in the end, I’ll be better, I’ll be stronger. In the end, we’ll be stronger. Keep marching on in perseverance.”

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JORI GILKEY//@jorigilkey

“Being a woman to me has both vulnerability and strength. Although we tend to be weaker physically we find strength in so many places! I believe God made us as equals with our own jobs that only we can do!”

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MEGAN DAVIS//@megjewel16

“It’s taken eighteen years for me to finally feel comfortable in my own skin, to own and know the young woman God created me to be, and embrace being beautifully and uniquely Megan. That’s why marches are important – we need to lead by example and show the
next generation of little girls what it looks like when sisters stand together…so it takes them much less than eighteen years to embrace their identity.”

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ALYSSA NESBITT//@noelllla

“Today I am thrilled to say that I am completely content to be me. My heart is full of love for
the women in my life who have blessed me and shown me what strength and confidence look like. Thankful and happy!”

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ROBYN DELION// @hotscheetos

“The women’s march to me is an event that gives me the chance to reflect. I can acknowledge wholeheartedly that as a woman I can equally be: goofy, intelligent, beautiful, and powerful.”

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CARO UNGER// @carolinejamesunger

“Society tells us to always be better than the girl next to you. To compare your bodies and your brain to the girl you go to school with, the woman you see in magazines, the girls you see on social media and the actresses you watch in movies. As woman we are told to think that if a boy (or girl) doesn’t like/want you it’s because another girl is better or more beautiful than you. That is NOT true. Men are not the enemy. Female against female is the enemy. We cannot tear each other down. We cannot compare ourselves to each other. We cannot belittle each other. We must stand together and support each other because we are equal and stronger together. We all matter. And we are all beautiful. The women’s march is incredible and so important because it takes “that girl is so pretty, why don’t I look like her” and changes it into “I want to support and love this complete stranger walking next to me, screaming in my ear, and I don’t even know her name”. There is nothing more powerful than women standing together. Change will happen when we are one.”

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NDAYISHIMIYE ODILE// @ndayishimiyeclodile

“To all girls in the world, you are priceless and powerful. Always remember, you can do great things. #DareMightyThing #SpreadTheLove#BeYou”

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LEAH BLOOM// @bloomiie

“I think it’s really vital to take time to acknowledge the women in our lives and those who have come before us. Whether it’s your sister, your mother, your aunt, your grandmother, your teacher, your coach, your boss, we have ALL known a woman who has changed our life for the better. But how often do we let them know of our appreciation and admiration for them? Unfortunately there is a common attitude of competition and comparison between fellow girls because of the unrealistic expectations placed upon us. It is our responsibility to put an end to this negativity and lack of support. As women, it is our duty to lift up other women- to encourage them in their passions and endeavors, celebrate them in their victories, and support them in their times of trouble and loss. That is why I am so happy there are events like the Women’s March, where ladies (and men) in all different cities can join together as one voice to lift up the hopes, dreams and efforts of the women around us. Thank you so much to all the incredible, intelligent, strong, beautiful ladies who have poured wisdom and love into my life and unto the rest of the world!! Keep on supporting your fellow girls and passing on your light to the next generations!!”

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MADDIE JARAMILLO// @bbgirlmads

“PUSSY=POWER!!! I’m tired of women being looked down upon… we are creators of life and are so powerful. Today is important as we should illustrate this power to the world to show our voice and opinion on the matter of having a sexist and racist MALE as a president.We should not be passive about this matter… be the change you want to see in this world is something that always keeps me going.”

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JORDAN CAMPBELL// @jordan.raeann

“It was so incredibly empowering and emotional to hear thousands of women and men cheering and walking in solidarity. Participating in the march reminded me that, as one sign read, “In diversity is strength”. The support system of women across the nation—even the globe—was widely prominent today and always!”

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MADELINE HILLIARD// @maddyhilliard

“The United States Declaration of Independence proclaims that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed … with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” I marched today because our nation needs to reconnect with this truth, for all of its citizens. So many are considered unequal both in law and public opinion on the basis of sex, gender, race, physical (dis)ability, religion, country of origin, or sexual orientation.This must be corrected. Our president is the Leader of the Free World, but that world can no longer only be free for those that look and live like him. I marched today in pursuit of happiness for all Americans because I love our country and I believe that we, the people, can change it for the better.”

PHOTOS FROM OUR MARCHERS:

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Here is a list of other women’s instagrams that are worth following:

@gurlstalk

@adwoaaboah

@themessyheads

@emmercury

@haleyymadison

@isabellamente

@vxvian

@the.wing

@audreygelman

@all_womenkind

@womensmarch

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