This Saturday, women will march on the Capitol in Washington, DC to protest the election of Donald Trump. The Women’s March is all about unity through diversity and, to that end, their mission statement is:
We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families – recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.
However, they don’t want to get too diverse. Diversity of thought, for example, is decidedly unwelcome. This wasn’t always the case. In the halcyon days of last Thursday, New Wave Feminists applied for and were granted status as an event partner.
They provided the Women’s March with a biography, a link to their Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and contact information on two board members. “It’s not like we snuck in there and they didn’t know we were pro-life,” said New Wave Feminsit’s Founder and President Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa said. In fact, she made it clear, saying on the application “while we are a pro-life group, our main goal is not to make abortion illegal, we want to make it unthinkable and unnecessary by supporting women.” So, while they didn’t agree on abortion, they agreed on most things and, not being an event about abortion, there was no reason these women shouldn’t be included. Harmony amongst women was achieved.
Then, the Altantic ran an article yesterday which reported on the inclusion of pro-life feminists and the internet immediately melted down. “A differing opinion on one facet of feminism! Quel horreur!” Fainting couches were put into use and smelling salts were brought into the safest of spaces to protect the fairer sex to the affront of hearing a different opinion.
Herndon-De La Rosa said that the response on social media was unbelievable “Twitter exploded and everyone (was saying) ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe someone else has a different opinion on something than me, I can’t handle it.'” she recalled, shocked at the reaction to diversity of thought. “It was the most asinine thing. This is a march for women. Guess what? We all thinks different things, and that’s ok and you’re not so fragile that you can’t handle me marching next to you because I support women in a different way than you do when they’re facing crisis pregnancies.”
Then, their name disappeared from the Women’s March website. No communication, no explanation (although the Women’s March did later tweet that New Wave Feminists were only ever added as an error, but the timing is questionable), just poof. Gone. Of
course, they are still going to march, just not as partners. Although some have said that pro-life women aren’t invited, Herndon-De La Rosa sees a flaw. “Since when do we as feminists need invitations to be a part of something? That doesn’t even sound right.” So, they will be there, just as they planned on before being added and during their brief foray into partnership . “Nothing has changed for us. We’re still going to march, it’s still a public event. We’re still going to show up in full force. We are women. We are women who think differently than them, but we are still women.”
Quoth the Women’s March website:
It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.
— Audre Lorde
Too bad they didn’t mean it; this could have been a great moment for women working together. If you’re headed to the Women’s March this weekend, join the open-minded New Wave Feminists.