On Saturday, January 21st, 2017, women made history through demonstrations around the world against the new President of the United States, Donald Trump. It was beautiful and all anyone talked about that day. But it had its problems.
I wasn't too happy about the rhetoric being used to support feminism and women in general at the march. Feminism is meant to empower all women and destroy the ideals of the patriarchy. I understand that the use of sexual rhetoric is believed to be aggressive enough to fight the patriarchy and misogyny, but it defines being a woman as having a vagina and boobs. It's damaging to the trans movement for equality and thus promotes the very ideals of the patriarchy that we're trying to fight against. Remember that not all women have a vagina and that's okay. That does not make them any less female than you.
What has been noticed by myself and many other women of color is the ironic anger white women have now that Trump has been elected. It's ironic because a majority of white women voted for him. Anti-feminists having voted for Trump is not surprising to me because they obviously don't care about women's rights. This consistency makes them more trustworthy to me than feminists who voted for Trump because they knew the damage he would do to women's rights and they voted for him anyway, most likely to secure their white privilege. Now, statistically speaking, there had to have been Trump voters at some of those marches. To them, I just want to say that none of us want your regret. You failed us and yourself when you voted for him, and you have to deal with the consequences.
Aside from that, the feminism displayed during the marches was white. White feminism is exclusive to white women. It's the feminism that is promoted for women's rights while also being oppressive to people of color. It's the feminism that gave white women the right to vote in 1920, but not American women of color. White feminism forgets about people of color when it gets the spotlight. It worries only about the problems of white women and not other women. This feminism can be seen when talking about wage equality. 79 cents to every man's dollar? Only white woman make that much. Asian women make 84 cents, Hispanic women make about 55 cents, and Black women make 60 cents to every man's dollar.
White women have a tendency to only get angry when things directly affect them. They want unity and solidarity for white women problems but when black women call for their help, they seem confused. I saw a lot of white women angry about black women not showing up in large numbers for these marches, but the truth is this fight wasn't for us. This was an anger that should have been around a long time ago, and only because you're late to the party doesn't mean the party won't start without you. Black women have been angry and they have been trying to get white women's attention, but white women have ignored their plight for years. It's sad that it took this misogynistic presidency and a true harm to women's rights to get white women to pay attention. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad you're finally angry, but remember that your fight is not the only one that needs attention. I truly hope you all come out in support of issues such as Black Lives Matter when the time comes. Be angry, but be cognizant of the fight others are fighting and why they are fighting it, because it's usually for the same reasons as you: equality.
I hope white women look at this article as a form of constructive criticism instead of as a personal attack. If you are to join the social justice fight and be feminist, please be intersectional. Fight for us all or you are not fighting for any of us. I appreciated the effort by the women who marched on Washington and around the world, but next time, let's either just not secretly vote for the misogynist or try to be consistent in our sensitivity to a cause.