Oration on the Intricacies of the Women’s March

Why I’ve Been AWOL

I haven’t been posting in a hot minute. I’ve been fairly busy with taking midterms and fearing my rights being taken away. You know, the usual. (BTW, the title is a ripoff of Cicero and Pico Della Mirandola. I’ve been studying for midterms; don’t judge me!)

The Inauguration

This Friday, I was more fearful than usual. I’m sure you can guess why. Donald Trump was inaugurated on January 20th. It was a fairly traumatic experience for me. But, the thing that tied it all up for me was the Women’s March.

Women’s March

In theory, it’s great. The March is a way for thousands (nay, millions) to get together in solidarity and support one common feminist cause.

But is this cause so common?

The March started off rockily because of the original leaders’ reluctance to include women of color.

Not only did the march take names of previous Black-led marches (like the Million Woman March, and the infamous March on Washington), but they refused to incorporate the issues of WOC.

They took a Black movement and turned it into #AllLivesMatter

Yes, the struggles of all women are important to recognize. But, it is a deliberate and purposeful action when white women use their privilege to speak over people of color. Glossing over these issues might not have been on purpose, or intentional. But, not including any women of color in the original national leadership was. Feminism is supposed to be about equality, and in turn inclusivity. But, when cishet white women do not allow enough space for all experiences, queer and POC women are pushed out.

So White Feminism is the Biggest Issue with the Women’s March?

Pictured on sign: “Vaginas brought you into the world and vaginas will vote you out”

In short, yes. In their recently released platform, they stated that they support the Black Lives Matter movement. They also included their support of the LGBTQIA+, civil rights, worker rights, disability rights, immigrant rights and environmental justice. Their new national organization team had spots for an African-American, a Latina woman, and a Muslim-American woman.

The organizers and platform are becoming more intersectional, but are the activists?

The biggest offenders of white feminism were the TERFs or trans-exclusionary radical feminists. They’re the ones who think that trans women can’t experience the supposed superior womanhood experience that cis-women can. TERFs are the ones who connect womanhood to a uterus or “pussy power.”

Pussies in Formation Beyonce sign Women's March on Washington
Pictured on sign: “Pussies in Formation”

White feminism ignores the significant issues of being queer or POCย and replaces it with transphobic rhetoric.

Image result for pussy hat project
Pussy Hat Project Hats

Of course, being unashamed of speaking about body parts is a feminist ideal. Fighting for reproductive rights is a feminist ideal. But, connecting genitalia to gender is a dangerous territory.

 

Pictured on sign: "White Women: We have a lot to make up for. White feminism, voted for a racist, ableist, jingoist, misogynist con man- the least qualified person ever elected, cultural appropriation, erasing women of color from our history, collaboration and willful ignorance, prioritizing white feelings over actual danger to P.O.C, T.E.R.Fs"
Pictured on theย sign: “White Women: We have a lot to make up for. White feminism; voted for a racist, ableist, jingoist, misogynist con man- the least qualified person ever elected; cultural appropriation; erasing women of color from our history; collaboration, and willful ignorance; prioritizing white feelings over actual danger to P.O.C; T.E.R.Fs”
Gina Rodriguez Women's March Pussy Power to the People
In background: “Pussy Power to the People”

 

Improving the Women’s March

I’m not saying that reproductive rights and equal pay aren’t important. But when you promote a watered down version of feminism that states that women make 77 cents to a man’s dollar? It’s harmful to WOC. Not only does that statistic only account for white women, it does not allow people of color to speak about their experience with discrimination in the workplace.

 

What I AM saying is that ignoring the spheres of oppression, and how racial identity, sexual identity, and gender identity interact is harmful to feminism. By helping people to educate themselves and discontinuing the consumption of ‘celebrity’ feminism, and products of the capitalist persuasion, we can ultimately make the march safer for everyone.

 

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2 Comments

    1. I didn’t know that, but it makes sense. If you’re arguing for reproductive freedom/justice, you probably don’t want the people against you to march.

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