21st January - Yesterday marked a year of Donald Trump’s presidency since his inauguration on January 20th 2017, and one year later, the organisers of Women’s March USA took to the streets again to channel voices in solidarity against oppression of all women. Trumps first year in office has provided many reasons for fear and panic but also has been a means of rallying support and consensus among the population who disagree with his authoritarian, misogynistic opinions.
Thousands rallied yesterday across the country to protest for women’s rights, learning from last year’s campaign and the #MeToo movement, the valuable lesson that women’s collective voices can have real power. This weekend’s main march, titled: “Women’s March Anniversary: Power to the Polls” will be held in Las Vegas today and speakers include Cecile Richards, the President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund and Alicia Garza, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter. Other marches span across all fifty states and even some other global cities. On Friday afternoon, it was reported that eighty-five thousand people had registered for a New York event. By the days end, the mayor’s office had put the tally at two hundred thousand.
Similar to last year, the diversity of the crowd was noticeable; people of all walks of life joined the events, the primary reason for marching this year being “solidarity”. The idea was to stand alongside like-minded citizens and make a loud noise together, to share burdens and the feeling of being under Trumps presidency. Many older women stand together in disbelief that they are still protesting issues such as the pay gap and reproductive rights.
Unbelievably, Trump attempted to rebrand the marches as a celebration of his economic policies via twitter in his usual ridiculous way (thankfully he is only allowed 140 characters), he tweeted:
“Beautiful weather all over our great country, a perfect day for all women to March. Get out there now to celebrate the historic milestone and unprecedented economic success and wealth creation that has taken place over the last 12 months. Lowest female unemployment in 18 years!”.
Thankfully, this manoeuvre was so transparent and nonsensical that it barely registered with the crowd that passed by Trump International Hotel and Tower during the New York Protest.
The Women’s March has faced some criticism on whether it values intersectionality and if it actually works as an umbrella organisation encompassing each woman’s stance and background while still having a strong impact instead of its power being watered down by too many different aims.
Honestly, having a single platform to pronounce whatever voice or opinion you have is the best way forward, because of its defining characters: solidarity and universality. For its participants, the Women’s March acts as a way to reenergise and find strength in numbers- and it works! Our collective voice as people who want an equal just society is working. Not only are important issues such as sexual harassment, gender pay gap and reproductive rights vocalised, but also it’s a chance to take in the colourful spectacle and what is becoming a sort of tradition that bonds women and supporters around the world.
Its an empowering experience and a belief that times will change if you make enough noise