It’s that time of year! The anniversary of Trump’s inauguration was this past weekend and with it came a repeat of last year’s Women’s March. This year saw about 120,000 people take to the streets of New York, and many more joined them in cities all around the world. In Toronto, thousands of people took over Nathan Phillips Square, displaying handmade signs with slogans like “fight like a girl,” and “grow a pair,” with arrows pointing to a drawing of ovaries.
While the event was nowhere near as big as last year’s, which saw attendance in the millions around the world, the fact that it even happened is telling. The original Women’s March was considered by certain right-wing politicians and their supporters to be something of an internet fad. You can see where they’d get that idea. People get started on a charity project or a movement online and it rarely escalates beyond likes and shares. Either that or it evolves into something completely different like the ice bucket challenge. Who remembers that the original point of that was to avoid dumping a bucket of ice water over your head by donating money to fund ALS research? But, like the ice bucket challenge — which ended up raising over $115 million — the women’s march has transcended its viral beginnings.
While the march is just one day a year, it gives us time to look back and see what’s been going on over the last year. When it comes to women’s rights in the U.S., not a lot of progress has been made. In fact, federal policy may have taken a few steps backwards, although, it’s not for lack of trying. Women’s groups, like those that organize the Women’s March, have been fighting tooth and nail over the last twelve months to protect reproductive rights, equal pay, and to make sure the voices of women everywhere are heard. The problem is the same as it was at the Golden Globes. Women can talk as much as we want, but as long as the people in power, meaning men, don’t stand up and fight for us too, it’s going to be very difficult to get things done. Wearing a pin is nice, wearing a black shirt with your tuxedo is nice, and showing up at a rally once a year is nice, but what we really need are the voices and the support of men everywhere. Stop saying ‘not all men…’ and start saying ‘I demand…’
Not surprising at all, President Trump tweeted in near support of the event, with a vague statement about it being a nice day for a march, and completely missed the boat in talking about all the “unprecedented economic success and wealth creation that has taken place over the last 12 months.” I guess he’s running out of ‘clever’ things to say. Too bad!!!
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