#WomensMarch Raises Ethical Questions For Jacksonville Residents

By: Inés Eisenhour ‘19

On January 21, women and men of all shapes and sizes gathered at the Jacksonville Landing to participate in one of many nationwide rallies for positive community action. Many topics were spoken of and addressed, such as domestic violence, the dangers of restrictive abortion laws, gender inequality in the pay gap and the discrimination of healthcare providers against clients. The topic that captured my attention was presented by a speaker who was recounting the danger that women face regarding domestic abuse and gun violence. She talked about Jacksonville specifically and the stories of women close to her who had suffered and survived horrific situations. The speaker advocated for thoughtful gun regulation because the effects of gun violence are not limited to physical injury but extend to severe emotional and economic damage for survivors. An estimated 50 women a month are shot and killed by a current or former boyfriend or spouse. That number is concentrated in urban cities, like Jacksonville, due to the high proportion of lower-income households and large inner city areas. An issue like gun regulation is controversial, but upon learning of circumstances and dangers in the very city I go to school in, the city my family, friends and I share, this woman’s call to action makes a great deal of sense. The debate on gun control cannot be resolved easily, but the Women’s March organization pleads for the consideration of women’s safety in their own homes with their own partners.

Around the Landing, I spoke to several participants about their reasons behind marching that day, two of which stood out to me. One woman with her baby daughter (pictured) told me that everything she does is for her daughter. She wants her to grow up in a society where women can live free and safe lives, without fear of judgement or injustice. One young man said he was there representing his mother, a working member of the middle-class experiencing gender inequality on a daily basis. She works as a real estate consultant in Daytona Beach but is paid only one third of what her male counterparts are paid for performing the same exact job. These two people were among many who said that the stakes are too high to accept the status quo.

Image courtesy of Inés Eisenhour ‘19.