“Well Done, Sister Suffragette”
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“No more the meek and mild subservients we, we’re fighting for our rights militantly.”
Starting in the early hours of Saturday January 21st, women (and men and children) gathered in crowds of thousands to participate in the “Women’s March” all across the country and overseas in Sydney, Berlin, London, Paris, Nairobi and Cape Town.
The original march was organized to take place in Washington D.C. in order to protest the inauguration of our 45th President Donald Trump. The 2.9 million marchers and citizens who turned out for the protests are indicative of the massive disparity between Trump’s large-scale losses among the popular vote versus his ultimate victory because of the Electoral College.
What occurred on January 21st was a true display of patriotism and, at its core, an expression of the First Amendment rights our foremothers have fought so diligently to give to us.
American citizens, particularly women, often forget that it was not all that long ago that we were not even granted the same rights as our male counterparts in being able to vote, own property or even attend college. We are taught about the Women’s Suffragist movement in middle school; we see pictures of historic feminists fighting the only way they knew how to, to be able to make their mark upon society and attain equality among the sexes. The Women’s Marches that took place on Saturday are reminiscent of these same demonstrations that women in the 1920’s participated in.
The difference in these modern-day marches is that although we now have secured certain rights that should in effect make us “equal,” our rights still remain under attack and are in danger of being taken away under the new Presidential Administration.
Donald Trump has, upon innumerable occasions, proven that he sees Americans in two lights—people who are like him, and “other.” He speaks with flippant malaise and regards women as objects ready to be subjugated, or rather, “grabbed by the pussy” regardless of consent.
His rationalization of his own repugnant dialect towards women is equally upsetting as the words he uses to speak of them in the first place. More importantly, it contributes to a cycle of the normalization of rape culture in society. This casual reference of “locker room talk,” and, the “just boys being boys” rationale allows others to believe that this type of language is acceptable.
This is just one among many reasons 2.9 million women and men around the globe chose to take part in the Women’s March movement in protest of Donald Trump’s inauguration. Other reasons protesters chose to march for were in opposition to the new Administration’s views on foreigners/refugees, LGBTQ+ rights, reproductive rights, and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Protesters shared feelings of fear and dissatisfaction in knowing that the man who is now tasked with protecting American citizens has had so many negative and downright repulsive things to say about various groups of American society.
In light of all this, it is equally disheartening to see women, especially young women, vilify the marches. Young women—proclaiming their aversion to feminism and being referred to as feminists—have truly been misguided.
This movement is not about conservative versus liberal, men versus women, or even citizens versus President Trump. The feminist movement at heart is simply the fight for equality between the sexes. If you think this doesn’t apply to you, or that you “don’t need feminism,” sadly, you are wrong. You do need feminism. Feminism is what gave you the right to vote and have your opinion in the first place. Feminism does not look to silence opposing voices, on the contrary, it fights to allow one to have views that are heard and seriously considered.
In any large movement, there are those who will attempt to sully the true message of the fight in order to propel their own agenda. But know that at its core, feminism has no grey area. If you believe in equality of the sexes, you are a feminist.
Feminists across the globe came together on January 21st in order to voice their disdain for the new administration and show that they will not be silenced. The Women’s March was a beautiful homage to the early feminists of the 1900’s who gathered, just as we did, to bring about change peacefully.
Our voices will not be silenced. We will continue to be heard. We will continue to stand up for our rights and the rights of those less privileged than we. We will “take our broken hearts, and make it into art.”