It's been less than a week since America swore in her 45th commander in chief. Last weekend was gravid with emotions. On January 20th, crowds of both protestors and supporters filled the Mall at Washington D.C. for the inauguration of Donald Trump. The turnout was actually quite comical when compared to Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration day.
As if the inauguration wasn't busy enough, the next day's Women's March on January 21st took place across the United States and certain parts of Canada. Millions of women and men came out to voice their concerns, opinions, and disapproval of bigoted policies that Trump has proposed to develop during his presidency. At least that seemed to be the main goal of the march. As for the other goals, unfortunately, I am unclear of what tangible results the Guiding Principles will bring to the country at large.
The vision and mission are so beautifully crafted that one can easily fall in love with the cadence and diction. But what is the action plan? The Unity Principles outline all of the rights that should be protected and free from structural impediments. Simply put and reasonable expectations. After a careful review of the march's website, I still find it difficult to see what exactly should come out of this movement. In short, I have 3 concerns for the Women's March.
1. Lack of Clarity for "10 Actions/100 Days" Campaign.
In 100 days, the committee intends to have accomplished the great seemingly impossible feat of achieving equity for women, minorities, and the disabled. Again, what tangible outcomes do the initiatives yield? A closed wage gap between men and women? More funding for families caring for loved ones with disabilities? Gaining a stronger voice for disadvantaged women ultimately giving more visibility to those who need justice? The first action involves personal communication, "pouring your heart out" on any issue, and sharing it with the world and your senator. Nothing intrinsically wrong. But I wonder, where is the real power behind this?
2. Does feminism encompass all inequities?
Contrary to the lack of clarity on execution, it was very clear that attendees disapprove strongly of Donald Trump's behavior during his campaign. Even his behavior from years ago. His infidelities, his questionable business tactics, and we cannot forget the "grab 'em by the pussy" audio. I couldn't help but wonder why so many of these women and men were so moved by feminist issues, obviously to an extent that appears stronger than feelings on other injustices. I thought how many of them attended a Black Lives Matter peaceful protest or donated money in effort to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline or actually know the facts behind the water that's poisoning innocent children in Flint, Michigan. Perhaps some of them have been vocal on other issues, but I do not trust that it is a high percentage.
3. Doing it for the hype?
The trust issues I have with the Women's March aligns with the trivial social media posts that quite frankly are belabored. The pussy hats (I admit, they're cute AF), women dressed in pussy costumes, and carrying pussy themed signs created a strong sense of warmth and love. But hashtags, retweets, and likes in the thousands doesn't convince me that the commitment to driving home the actions needed to ensure all persons in this country receive a fair share of equity. Was this an anti-Trump rally more so than a march to add fuel to the fire of an age-old movement?
I can say the Women's March media is doing a stellar job of providing resources for those looking to get answers and gain knowledge regarding their rights in various situations. And the overall intent is sound and grounded in nonviolent measures. My uncertainty lies in the lack of direct execution and diversity in allies. The national committee is over ninety percent female. Can we reach all sectors of the American public if the movement represents only a segment of the population? I clench to the tailcoat of hope.