The Women’s March has come and gone for a third year. And while smaller than past years, hundreds of thousands of women still braved the frigid weather to exercise their First Amendment right to protest.

Since it began at President Trump’s Inauguration, The Women’s March has been demonized and criticized for nearly every conceivable reason.

But women still show up, year after year, to march.

Women march to end violence, to protect and expand reproductive rights, to protect the rights of workers, minorities, immigrants, people with disabilities and LGBTQ+ individuals.

The unifying principles of the Women’s March say that women’s rights are human rights, and that “we must create a society in which women - including black women, indigenous women, poor women, immigrant women, disabled women, Jewish women, Muslim women, Latina women, Asian and Pacific Islander women, lesbian, bi, queer, and trans women - are free and able to care for and nurture their families, however they are formed, in safe and healthy environments, free from structural impediments.”

Most women know the inconveniences and dangers women face day-to-day: from sexual harassment to domestic violence and from the pink tax to an inability to access affordable female health care.

Most women in the workforce have either encountered a glass ceiling themselves, or can point to the women who broke through it for them.

We all know a woman who forged the path ahead of us and made our climb easier.

Marching now repays the gesture, paving the way for the next generation.

With any social movement that gains traction, there is an inevitable insurgence of those who seek to undermine the efforts, the progress or the cause itself.

Civil Rights and Black Lives Matter: “I've never experienced to racism, this is a non-issue. They’re complaining about things that happened 50 years ago. Move on.”

Time’s Up and Me Too: “I've never been harassed, so it doesn't happen. Why can’t they take a compliment?”

The Women's March is no exception.

Social media over the weekend showed nothing but the slurs. According to many, the only women who march are man-hating feminists.

“Most of the women I know are doing just fine. It’s not like their stuck in the kitchen anymore.”

"You have a choice to stay at home or join the workforce, what more do you want?"

Yes, women have shattered many glass ceilings over the years. In general, they now have the freedom to make decisions about their own lives.

But the successes women have had so far do not negate the struggles they still face.

Social movements are met with a lack of empathy. Instead of listening to protestors and hearing what they have to say, people throw stones and insults.

In reality, men and women alike know there's so much more work to be done.

Change happens when people show up. When people speak up.

When women march.

The Women's March serves as a catalyst for conversations that need to be had. As a reminder to those fighting the tough fights that they're not alone. In this way, every step is in the right direction.

Claremore Progress Editorial Staff

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