Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Nancy Kaufman
Observer Staff Writer 

LA March for Equal Rights For Women and Everyone Marginalized in the Trump Era

"#MeToo," and "#TimesUp" meet immigrants' rights, dreamers' rights, end of sexual harassment, and racism.

 

January 27, 2018

Nancy Kaufman

"Me Too," and "Time's Up" meet immigrants and others disaffected by Trump.

Saturday, January 21st, 2018, the day that marks the one year anniversary of Trump's inauguration approximately 500,000 people took to the streets of downtown Los Angles, to participate in the annual Woman's March that also took place in other cities across the nation.

While the people marched, instead of celebrating his one year anniversary in Mar-a-lago, President Trump remained in Washington to deal with the government shut down that was the result of a dispute between Trump and Congress over the DACA, one of the groups that marchers were defending.

The March aimed at fighting for equal rights, not only for women, but for everyone who has been marginalized in the Trump era.

Some of the issues the participants were advocating for were health care, immigrants' rights dreamers' rights, end of sexual harassment, and racism. The movements that showed a prominent presence were "Me Too," and "Time's Up."

Last year, the focus of the march was on the voices of the women, this year it was on their votes! Hillary Clinton tweeted her take on the march.

" In 2017, the Women's March was a beacon of hope and defiance. In 2018, it is a testament to the power and resilience of women everywhere. Let's show that same power in the voting booth this year. #PowerToThePolls

The march which began in Pershing Square and ended up by City Hall, was testimony that what began in 2017 as a rebuke of Trump, has shifted into a "we will not be silenced" voice to persuade women across the country to sit up, stand up and vote!"

The focus of the march was to get women involved in midterm elections and even run for office. It was, in a sense, a call for women to not only take to the streets once a year, but to get politically involved at grass roots level.

"Grab 'em by the midterms," was written on a sign held high in the air by one of the participants.

Whatever harsh or degrading words Trump has spoken, leading up to his calling Haiti and Africa S-hole countries, the participants at the march articulated their passionate anger with creative and powerful signs:

"NO HUMAN IS ILLEGAL"

"GOP Hasdmade America a shithole!

THINGS THAT MAKE AMERICA GREAT:

WOMEN, IMMIGRANTS, LGBTQ, DIVERSITY, KINDNESS

EDUCATION NOT DEPORTATION #DEFEND DACA

BE INFORMED AND VOTE

IF IT'S NOT "INTERSECTIONAL It's not FEMINISM

The themes were loud and clear. This march was really about the people taking back their America, and the unalienable rights upon which this country was founded.

The signs that seemed to capture the essence of the march were "Be informed and vote," and "If it's not intersectional, it's not feminism."

According to the policy platform of the organizers of the Woman's March, "Recognizing that women have intersecting identities and are therefore impacted by a multitude of social justice and human rights issues, we have outlined a representative vision for a government that is based on the principles of liberty and justice for all." policy platform

The concept of intersectionial feminism is the idea of inclusivity, in which women of all races, sexual identities, and socio-economic groups deserve to have their voices heard. The indigenous woman, the black woman, the Latina woman, and the transgender woman are thus included.

For example, according to civil rights activist, professor Kimberlé Crenshaw, intersectionality is defined as "the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage."

At the march, it was therefore deemed necessary by the organizers to create a speaker's platform for all groups of women, and not just white women.

The concept of intersectional oppression of more than one group existed in the nineteenth century, when, in 1848, the suffragists aligned their movement with the abolitionists.

Nineteenth century feminist philosopher, John Stuart Mill, compared women's subservience to that of slavery "The dependence of women on men "is the primitive state of slavery lasting on"

The Woman's March was described by woman's rights attorney, Gloria Allred in an interview with Amy Goodman at the Sundance Film Festival, as a testament to intersectional feminism

"We will not be silenced. We have reached the breaking point. We have reached the tipping point. We demand respect for our daughters, our granddaughters, our mothers, our sisters, our lesbian sisters, gay men, transgenders and all minorities. We demand our rights! We demand the right to be free of sexual assault, rape and abuse. Say after me: RIPE-resist, insist, persist, elect. Now, resist!https://www.democracynow.org/2018/1/22/the_year_of_our_awakening_global

Nancy Kaufman

"If it's not intersectional, it's not Feminism."

The late feminist and civil rights activist poet, Audre Lorde, who introduced herself to her students in her poetry class at Hunter College back in 1988 as a "black lesbian Jewish poet, said,"When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak."

Lorde's words are most fitting and needed today, as they articulate the tone of the "Me Too," and "Your Time Is Up," and "Black Lives Matter, movements of the Trump era

To iterate Martin Luther King's words, "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter," is to remind everyone who marched and everyone who didn't march, that we do what we do when it matters.

For all the marchers, the women, the men, and the citizens, It matters to be heard and it matters to vote!

 

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