Uppity Women: The Women’s March
At this moment in time, it would not be appropriate to write about any other uppity women than the women who took part in The Women’s March. Or should I say Women’s Marches because there were marches all over the globe. Women and men took part in marches to express their concerns regarding women’s rights, civil rights, climate change and other issues they fear could be under threat from Donald Trump’s presidency. There were marches in such far flung places as Cape Town, Sydney, Berlin, London, Paris, Nairobi and Antarctica. And women marched across the United States. In Washington D.C. the Women’s March turned into a rally because marchers simply could not march due to there were so many people. Meanwhile an estimated 250,000 people rallied in Chicago. In New York approximately 100,000 people marched past Mr. Trump’s home in the Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue.
Marches also occurred in state capitals such as St. Paul where an estimated 100,000 people turned out to express their concern over a Trump presidency. Thousands gathered in Lansing. About 50,000 marchers participated in Portland, Oregon.
Pink Pussy Hats
During the marches many women wore pink, knitted hats with cat corners– the pussyhats. The homemade hats referenced a video from 2005 where Donald Trump described how he assaults women by grabbing them by the genitals. The PussyHat Project started in Los Angeles, originating from Krista Suh and Jayna Zweiman. Suh has said she wanted to visually show solidarity among women in regards to Trump’s attitude towards women. Being from California, she also wanted to stay warm. What began as a knitting project among friends at the Little Knittery, spread. Soon knitting groups all across the United States began churning out the hats and craft stores reported shortages of pink yarn. Knitters in places such as Australia and Austria made hats. The goal was to knit 1.1 million hats. Many pink hats sprinkled the photos of the D.C. march.
Not only did ordinary people march to show their concerns, many prominent celebrities and politician’s spoke at the Women’s March yesterday. Speaking first, America Ferrera energized the crowd by saying:
“We march today for the moral core of this nation, against which our new president is waging a war. Our dignity, our character, our rights have all been under attack, and a platform of hate and division assumed power yesterday. But the president is not America. … We are America, and we are here to stay.”
Continuing the rally, women’s rights activist Gloria Steinem spoke and said,
“We have people power and we will use it.”
In addition, other speakers included Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, Madonna, actresses Ashley Judd and Scarlett Johansson and director Michael Moore among others. At one point a group of senators and house representatives took the stage together. This group included Kirsten Gillibrand, Claire McCaskill, Kamala Harris, Tammy Duckworth, Maxine Waters, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Cory Booker.
Where Do We Go From Here?
While the Women’s Marches yesterday demonstrated the power of people acting and speaking together, we aren’t done. Continuing, we have more work to do. Activities, such as watching our elected officials, writing to them, and making sure they act in our best interests. Each of us needs to stay informed — including critically evaluating news sources and not allowing “alternative facts” from Trump’s administration to gaslight us into tyranny. Further, we need to identify people we can run for local, state and national elected positions.
We also need to caucus and create a list of positive goals– goals such as equal rights and equal pay for women, funding of Planned Parenthood, funding of research and initiatives for women’s health, funding and continued protection for parental leave, an examination and reform of our tax structure to more equally distribute wealth, protection for our National Parks, creating legislation to address climate change, protection for immigrants from xenophobia, addressing civil rights concerns regarding police actions, raising minimum wage, funding education, …
In conclusion, let’s keep the momentum going!