On Saturday, men and women of all backgrounds gathered to protest Trump’s agenda and rally support for women’s rights. Opening up with a rally and followed by a march, over 500,000 people showed up to the nation’s capitol.
Several other marches took place in cities around America like Atlanta, Phoenix, Oakland, Austin, New York, Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, Phoenix, St. Paul, and Key West. Several other women’s marches happened all over the world to join in solidarity with the States like in Paris, London, Vienna, and Berlin.
According to NPR, more than 200 organizations from Planned Parenthood and the NAACP, to Amnesty International partnered with the Women’s March.
Pink was the color of the day. To stand in solidarity, women wore knitted pink hats with cat ears called “pussy hats,” which symbolized the march and fired back at Donald Trump’s controversial comments on the news bus with Billy Bush when he boasted about “grabbing women by the pussies.”
Women carried signs that ranged from: “Women’s rights are human rights,” to “Make America kind again,” to “Keep your tiny hands off my pussy.”
Several notable figures were at the rally in Washington: feminist icon Gloria Steinem encouraged women to continue activism, and filmmaker Michael Moore urged their elected officials to join organizations like Planned Parenthood and call Congress.
Why does the Women’s March matter? Simply put, it raises awareness for issues America needs to be concerned about. A woman’s march on this scale probably has not happened since the Women’s Strike for Equality in 1970 which made it illegal for women to get fired for getting pregnant and gained women the access to get credit on their own. Title IX was enacted in 1972 to provide women more equal opportunities in education.
Activism was instrumental in giving women the right to vote. More than 100 years ago, the 1913 Women’s Suffrage March happened on Pennsylvania Avenue which ordered women the right to vote. There, marchers were mocked, ridiculed and assaulted and 100 marchers were hospitalized leading to hearings from Congress and the firing of the DC superintendent of police.
Women suffragists later picketed the White House in 1916 and 1917, with one picket leading to the arrest of 218 women from 26 states. It was not until 1920 when the Nineteenth Amendment secured the woman’s right to vote.
The Women’s March is symbolic of Trump’s extremely low approval rating, not just with women, but all Americans. The Washington Post and ABC News Poll reported that he is the most unpopular of at least the last seven newly elected presidents. CNN and the post-ABC poll estimated Trump’s approval at around 40 percent which was half of Obama’s approval rating when he took office in 2008. His inauguration was notably more sparse than Obama’s.
While Trump won the election, women and men alike are outraged at his overtly racist and sexist comments he made in his past as a business professional and on the campaign trail. He called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas,” bullied Megyn Kelly on Twitter and at the Republican Presidential Debate, and called Hillary Clinton a “nasty woman,” which incited a women’s empowerment movement itself.
Overall, feminists are returning to grassroots activism to spread the word and raise awareness. Indeed, as many of the ralliers were chanting today: “This is what democracy looks like.”
What do you think of the Women’s March on Washington? Tweet @issabasco.