Feminists march for political and social justice

By EMILY MELVIN
On October 21, 2020

Photo courtesy of Kimika Ying, Flickr

On Saturday, Oct. 17, the streets of Washington, D.C. and sister cities across the country were filled with thousands of protestors taking part in the fourth annual Women’s March. Back in January 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, the Women’s March organization took their activism to the streets to protest Trump’s presidency. Since then, there have been two more marches each January, tallying three in total. 

However, this past weekend, Women’s March and feminists across the country had new plans. 

This particular march was held to encourage others to get out and vote before it is too late. According to the official Women’s March website, “We saw the power when millions of us joined in the streets together the day after Trump’s inauguration. We need to bring that same power and determination to Oct. 17 to cap off Trump’s presidency just the way it started - with massive, women-led resistance.”

Thousands of participants showed up either in person or virtually to this event, and while in the midst of a pandemic, the in-person marches were strict with their guidelines: wear a mask, practice social distancing and sanitize often. 

The turnout for this march was much lower than the one after Trump’s inauguration, but the passion and strengthening voices from these activists were still incredibly conveyed. The march was heavily dedicated to the notorious Ruth Bader Ginsburg, remembering the equal rights she fought so hard for during her time serving on the Supreme Court. The march also amplified the Black Lives Matter movement, the LGBTQ+ community and completely accessible, intersectional feminism. 

A large part of our nation is fed up with Trump: his time in office must finally come to an end. His actions as president the past four years has created complete havoc in America, especially for all minorities, which is essentially anyone that isn’t a straight, cisgender, white male with money and power, broadly speaking. 

Feminism has increasingly become more mainstream within the last four years, and the movement is not stopping until they reach their goals. We need feminism, especially now, if we want to ever exist in an equal society. Gender equality is just the start of getting rid of the toxic manhood our earth is built on, and it is up to us to change our world for the better. 

With Trump trying to fill the progressive RBG's spot with conservative-leaning Amy Coney Barrett, it is feared that any progress RBG and fellow feminists have created in the past will be completely destroyed. This includes, but is not limited to, banning abortion, revoking the 2015 legalization of same-sex marriage and overthrowing the Affordable Care Act. Having an uneven Supreme Court with significantly more conservative justices than liberal, our nation will find itself moving backward, not forward. 

Oct. 17’s Women’s March definitely made a powerful statement. Streets were filled with strong fighters in themed apparel (such as RBG wear and handmaids costumes), tons of protest signs, speakers and a genuine commonality of standing up for our rights. 

Continuing to hold marches and other politically amplified events is an amazing way to gather some of the brightest minds and voices our nation has to offer to spread awareness for incredibly pressing issues. Being a feminist shouldn’t be something we choose to be; being a feminist should be the default, it should be automatic for us to be feminists. 

Since 2017, the feminist movement has increasingly grown and brought newer, more diverse personalities to the movement. Twitter user @katieemeyer4, who attended the Philadelphia, Pa. march, tweeted, “Just judging by signs, I’d say this march has gotten a lot more intersectional over the last four years.”

People of all different backgrounds, races, genders, nationalities, statuses and ages participated in this event, and even more, will be participating in the 2020 election to dump Trump. Voices were heard this past weekend, but the real volume will be revealed in the polls. 

 

emelvin@ramapo.edu

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