Let me be honest. Normally, I am not the type of person that goes to protests, and I feel a little uncomfortable doing so. I’m a big believer in becoming the system, and changing it from the inside.
With that being said, with the new administration in office, I believe that it’s going to be extremely important for people to stand up and march to show that they’re not going to be silent when the president does something they disagree with.
This president is always about showmanship and what gets the largest buzz. That’s why I think people need to beat him at his own game. Marginalized groups, alongside allies, need to come together to show solidarity and be there for each other.
President Trump is obviously questioning his own legitimacy as president. We can see this by him wanting to start a “major investigation” into the unproven claims of voter fraud, which he believes cost him the popular vote. That makes it very important to show him how many people oppose his policies.
It’s a powerful statement that his inauguration was one of the lowest attended ceremonies in history, and the next day, more than double that number showed up for the Women’s March in the same city. That’s not even looking at the estimated three to four million who marched around the country.
Along with showing the president that we will not be silent, marches like these empower women to organize and get involved in their communities to be the change that they want to see. It encourages them to go back into their hometowns, become part of the political system and demand that things change.
Local and state politics are just as important as federal politics. Some people may argue that they’re even more important. My hope for these marches is that women will see that they are indeed powerful, that they can run for office and truly change the world.
Hillary Clinton once said that women were the “largest reservoir of untapped talent in the world”, and I am a staunch believer in that.
If these marches convince even just a few women to get involved and show that they can do anything they set their mind to, then it was successful. Studies have shown that women win elections at the same rate of men, but that it just takes a lot more convincing for them to finally decide to run for office.
This is because society has created such a misogynistic culture that women feel as though they will get attacked more than their male counterparts. And in a lot of cases, they will. That’s why these marches are so important. They prove to women that when they stand up, they are heard.
Now these marches will only be successful if there’s an intersectional component. We cannot have just white women marching and organizing. We need to include women of all backgrounds, races, and ethnicities.
We need to include transgender women, and people who may not identify with either gender. Feminist actions and ideologies only pertaining to white women are very much prevalent, and we need to be careful not to be exclusive when we’re trying to be inclusive. Those in fringe groups cannot be made secondary due to social privilege in this battle for equality and justice.
These kinds of protests and movements are only successful if all groups come together to show their support for each other. The issues being attacked by the new administration affect everyone, but some groups are being attacked more than others. That needs to be understood by all of the participants in these marches.
The marches that took place the day after the inauguration, were one step in resisting an oppressive administration which seems to have made attacking women’s rights, and the rights of immigrants, their top priority. These protests were a good first step, but we need to keep the momentum going.
At this point, the administration may not listen to the people marching. It may not change its views, but if we keep the momentum going, we can elect a new administration in four years, new members of congress and new governors in 2018.
We need to turn this one day of marches into many days of getting involved, whether it’s making phone calls, knocking on doors, working with nonprofits, and working together, to get the things we want to see happen done. Making sure that people go out to vote in 2018, 2019, and 2020 will be crucial for the future of our country.
The women of this country have the power to change things around, and I believe in their ability to do so. If you’re a woman, and you have never even thought about running for office one day, I hope you look into it. We need more women in office, because when we mostly have men, and we have seen the damage that they do.
As a man, I’m disgusted with the actions of this administration and any oppressive tactics put on by any man in higher office. To all the women out there, you are the future of our country. You are powerful, you will be heard, and I’ll be by your side every step of the way. Now let’s keep on marching.