During his inauguration speech on Friday, Donald Trump made two direct references to women. First, he referred to the forgotten men and women. Second, he referred to impoverished inner city single mothers and their children. Outside of this, his language was fairly gender-neutral.
On Saturday, women the world over, organised themselves to come together to protest. As stated on the Women’s March Global website, the goal of the march is to promote progressive values and women’s rights as human rights.
Women’s March Global is a proactive international movement, not a U.S. election-specific protest per se, which has galvanized people to defend women’s rights and those of others in response to the rising rhetoric of far-right populism around the world.
The timing of these marches was hardly coincidental. It would be hard to convince me that one strand of Trump’s hair was not the straw that broke the back of the proverbial camel. It’s unfortunate that that’s what it took to bring women together en masse to voice their shared concerns over an uncertain future in the face of far-right sentiments.
I think that Trump was a catalyst, standing as a symbol for all that women suffer under institutionalised sexism. He’s reactive, unlike the women who marched who proactively took a stand against his stated objectives. He’s a celebrity figure, unlike the women who marched who are ordinary women with real concerns. He’s always drinking from a glass that is half empty, unlike the women who marched who were able to inspire hope in what looks to be dark times. He’s orange, unlike the women who marched who are not orange.
What’s most concerning, however, is that he’s myopic. If the intention of these marches was to get noticed by Trump, I fear that that may never happen. I’m sure that from his vantage point, it looked as though the crowd in attendance during his inaugural speech stretched for miles because he can see only as far as his tiny hand will stretch to tweet. His response to the march was to ask, on Twitter, why these women didn’t vote.
The United States of America, and its president, has great influence over the rest of the world. The decisions that America takes have an impact on policies and economies across the globe. Trump has been unable to see this. He probably thinks that the women in India, France, Canada, and Antartica who marched yesterday were also able to vote during the presidential elections.
However, as stated, the marches were not in reaction to Trump. They were in response to the plight of women, who suffer under a socio-political climate that is unfair to them. This discussion, I think, is more about equity than equality. During the marches, women exemplified the rights that they deserve without breaking any of the rules that govern them. The women who gathered in the streets and stopped traffic stood on their own two feet, held up signs and small children, and moved forward through a public space.
It’s a shame that you still have to protest this shit and that your pussy has to bite back. This is not a Take Back the Night or an equal-pay-for-equal-work issue; this march was ideological with foresight, like a good president should be.
To all of the women who attended these marches, I salute you.
Does anyone have a picture I can use to accompany this post?