Wednesday, January 04, 2017

The Women’s March: the Largest Inauguration Demonstration?

Other than evangelical Christian women whose "faith" seemingly tells them they are to be subordinate to and ruled by men and perhaps very wealthy women seeking tax cuts, one of the most baffling aspects of the 2016 presidential election is the number of women who voted against their own best interest and supported a sexual predator who bragged about assaulting women.  We may never know if it was Trump's appeals to racism and anti-immigrant bigotry that won the day with these women, but thankfully, many women are shocked by and opposed to Der Fuhrer.  A piece in the Washington Post looks at the growing effort to have a Women's March on Washington the day after inauguration day. Over the next four years, we will need much more of such wide scale activism and opposition to Herr Trump.  Here are story highlights:
Teresa Shook never considered herself much of an activist, or someone particularly versed in feminist theory. But when the results of the presidential election became clear, the retired attorney in Hawaii turned to Facebook and asked: What if women marched on Washington around Inauguration Day en masse?
She asked her online friends how to create an event page, and then started one for the march she was hoping would happen. . . . Now, more than 100,000 people have registered their plans to attend the Women’s March on Washington in what is expected to be the largest demonstration linked to Donald Trump’s inauguration and a focal point for activists on the left who have been energized in opposing his agenda.
Organizers say plans are on track, after securing a permit from D.C. police to gather 200,000 people near the Capitol at Independence Avenue and Third Street SW on the morning after Inauguration Day. Exactly how big the march will be has yet to be determined, with organizers scrambling to pull together the rest of the necessary permits and raise the $1 million to $2 million necessary to pull off a march triggered by Shook’s Facebook venting.
The march has become a catch-all for a host of liberal causes, from immigrant rights to police killings of African Americans. But at its heart is the demand for equal rights for women after an election that saw the defeat of Democrat Hillary Clinton, the first female presidential nominee of a major party.
“We plan to make a bold and clear statement to this country on the national and local level that we will not be silent and we will not let anyone roll back the rights we have fought and struggled to get,” said Tamika Mallory, a veteran organizer and gun-control advocate who is one of the march’s main organizers.
More than 150,000 women and men have responded on the march’s Facebook page that they plan on attending. At least 1,000 buses are headed to Washington for the march through Rally, a website that organizes buses to protests. Dozens of groups, including Planned Parenthood and the antiwar CodePink, have signed on as partners.
Organizers insist the march is not anti-Trump, even as many of the groups that have latched on to it fiercely oppose his agenda.
Shook said her aim was not to co-opt any other movement. It was just an idea that took hold after the victory of a president-elect caught on tape boasting of grabbing women’s private parts and the defeat of a woman who seemed to her much more qualified for the job.
People traveling to attend the march seem less concerned with behind-the-scenes politics than the chance to call for more family-friendly government policies, equal pay for women or reproductive rights. Some say they simply want to stand against the crass way Trump has spoken about women.
Feminist scholars say the march reflects an emerging view of feminism: one that is less defined by reproductive issues, such as birth control and abortion, and more by how the challenges faced by women intersect with those encountered by African Americans, the LGBT community and immigrants.

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