President-elect Trump’s inauguration is sure to be surrounded by plenty of drama, and for a variety of reasons.
One such anticipated event that is already filled with drama is the Women’s March on Washington, scheduled for the day after his inauguration. My colleague Kira Davis wrote about the march in November when the plans were in their infancy.
And right out of the gate there were problems.
The march was originally titled “Million Women March”, but was objected to because of its similarity to “Million Man March”, which was thought to be disrespectful.
Now it’s January, and there are less than two weeks to go before both Trump’s inauguration and the march. But this celebrity-filled march of solidarity is anything but unified. Most of the quibbling has to do with race. Intersectional feminism says that within the movement itself, white women have it easier than black women, and must recognize that. Apparently, unifying for the march is not going well.
…long before the first buses roll to Washington and sister demonstrations take place in other cities, contentious conversations about race have erupted nearly every day among marchers, exhilarating some and alienating others.
“I will march,” one wrote on the march’s Facebook page, “Hoping that someday soon a sense of unity will occur before it’s too late.”
These left-leaning marchers are having a difficult time deciding what the problem happens to be. Is it Trump, or is it really each other?
But these debates over race also reflect deeper questions about the future of progressivism in the age of Trump. Should the march highlight what divides women, or what unites them?
A blogger from New York City had this to say to white marchers.
“Now is the time for you to be listening more, talking less…You should be reading our books and understanding the roots of racism and white supremacy. You should be drowning yourselves in our poetry.”
And the blogger’s reason behind writing that?
“I needed them to understand that they don’t just get to join the march and not check their privilege constantly.”
Hmm. Sounds as if the march of “unity”, if it is finally organized by the end, might involve a lot of heated discussions among the marchers. Now what are they in D.C. for again?
I can definitely understand some of the feelings that women have about Trump’s words and actions, whether they voted for him or not. More than once, he has shown himself to be disrespectful of women in general, and even bragged about taking advantage of them physically. This is entirely unacceptable. However, as his future administration’s policies go, Trump seems to be playing rather moderate so far, at least on issues like paid leave for women.
Time will tell, though, what his actual policies regarding women look like.
For now, the unifying against Trump on as large of a scale as a march in D.C. isn’t going very well. One can only assume that future protests against the new president will be just as fraught with problems if protesters can’t decide on what they’re actually protesting.
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