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Making Herstory: Women’s March 2017

Members+of+the+Class+of+2017+at+the+end+of+the+Women%27s+March%3B+Image+Courtesy+of+Elizabeth+Adams
Members of the Class of 2017 at the end of the Women's March; Image Courtesy of Elizabeth Adams

Members of the Class of 2017 at the end of the Women's March; Image Courtesy of Elizabeth Adams

Members of the Class of 2017 at the end of the Women's March; Image Courtesy of Elizabeth Adams

Claire Smith, Staff Writer

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The day after President Trump’s inauguration, hundreds of thousands of Americans took to the streets to protest a host of issues, including but not limited to “reproductive rights, action on climate change, equal pay, and affordable health care,” according to the Washington Post. In addition, millions of others–in America and abroad–joined protests to express concerns on Trump as a President, politician and person.

Signs ranged from “Girls Just Wanna Have FUN-damental Rights” to “Nasty Women Unite,” and put a satirical spin on the often bizarre moments of the campaigns. In an article for the New Yorker titled “The Much Needed Humor of the Women’s March,” Alexandra Schwartz writes, “The Women’s March humor worked, too, because of the variance of tone on display. For every funny sign, there were five sincere ones…a vindication of the humor of women performed on a stage that stretched the whole world wide.” Indeed, the humor seemed to combat the profound desperacy so many felt post-election.

The constituents of the marches were just as diverse as the march’s platforms. Men and women of varying backgrounds, ages, races, socioeconomic statuses, and orientations all protested against concerns of Trump’s administration. Cities which participated in marches ranged from London, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro and Sydney to more rural American cities such as Oak Ridge, Tennessee. A concerning factor was President Trump’s pettiness about the matter in what was only his first day in office; he tweeted, “Watched protests yesterday but was under the impression that we just had an election! Why didn’t these people vote?” Yet the point of the march was not to be anti-Trump but rather to promote equality, justice, and liberty–rights which many view as compromised by the new administration and President.

The march also essentially cemented a belief in women’s reproductive rights as a core of feminism, excluding anti-abortion groups from being official sponsors. In a statement, the organizers of the march wrote, “The Women’s March’s platform is pro-choice and that has been our stance from day one. The anti-choice organization in question is not a partner of the Women’s March on Washington.” While to some this statement undercut the march’s inclusive tone, it confirmed the credo “women’s rights are human rights,” and in the context of modern-day feminism, implied that reproductive rights are herein included.
For those who attended, the march and its camaraderie engendered a sense of hope–for many, the first glimpse of such since the election. The fact that participants joined the march from around the world was a show of solidarity wildly unprecedented and empowering. If the Women’s March demonstrated anything, it’s that the next four years will likely look much like President Trump’s first day in office — unruly, internally divisive, but an unrelenting striving towards a more just nation and world.


Image courtesy of the New York Times

Image courtesy of the New York Times

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