The Women’s March took place on January 21st, the day after Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration, in Washington, D.C. Upwards of 500,000 participated in the march, over twice the anticipated 200,000 and three times the estimated 160,000 in attendance at the inauguration.
Sister marches also occurred throughout the U.S. and across all seven continents; a total of 673 marches were organized. Political scientists have estimated that somewhere between 3.3 million and 4.6 million people marched in the U.S., making it the largest protest in the country’s history. The highest turnout was in downtown Los Angeles, where over 750,000 people filled the streets.
The organizers said that they did not plan the event as a protest, but instead as a response to “rhetoric of the past election cycle.” They do not even describe their non-confrontational demonstration as anti-Trump. The official website states that the march “will send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights.” Their language is very timid and insubstantial, with no mention of patriarchy, female liberation, or the fact that men are the oppressors of women. Let alone naming the misogynist who was just inaugurated as head of “our new government”!
Fortunately, women did not listen to the “not an anti-Trump protest” message. We showed up in D.C., chanting, “Donald Trump has got to go” and, “not my president.” One sign at the Los Angeles march read “EXPECT RESISTANCE YOU FUCKING NAZI,” clearly addressing Trump and his racist hate speech.
In a country where “vagina” is a bad word, where women are not allowed to make choices about our own bodies, where a rapist who has made disgusting comments about women has been elected to the highest political office, women are fighting back. In D.C., women loudly exclaimed “my body my choice,” and “a woman’s place is in the struggle.” Protest signs read “keep your rosaries off my ovaries,” “pussy grabs back,” and “we need to talk about the elephant in the womb.” We refuse to shut up about our anatomy, despite how uncomfortable it makes men, as long as those same men continue to oppress us by restricting our reproductive freedom and objectifying our female bodies.
A group of radical feminists (perhaps inspired by Meghan Murphy’s article) marched in DC with a huge banner reading “WOMEN RISE UP! AGAINST TRUMP AGAINST RAPE AGAINST THE SEXIST STATE.” They also had signs reading “ANGRY, HAIRY FEMINISTS UNITE!” and “SISTERHOOD IS POWERFUL.” Women will not quietly ask for our dignity, our rights, and our humanity, we will demand them. Because we know that the Trump administration and all the other misogynists of the world will not listen to our appeals. They will only listen to political force. Sisters across the globe, join the resistance to fight for your liberation!