A Women's March Recap
With a global total of marchers closing in around four million, those of us interested in data can definitively count the Women’s March as a success. The march is also now being considered one of the largest demonstrations in U.S. history, which is, objectively, pretty dope. In D.C., over 40 speakers addressed the crowd, representing a diverse breadth of issues from trans and queer rights with Janet Mock and Raquel Willis, to immigrant rights with America Ferrera and the *unbelievably* adorable and inspiring Sophie Cruz (age six!!!), to reproductive justice with Cecile Richards and Scarlett Johansson, to racial justice with the Mothers of the Movement (mothers of a group of black men and boys brutalized and killed by the police) and Janelle Monáe, to more general solidarity and wisdom from Angela Davis and Gloria Steinem, and a whole host of others. About halfway through, actor Ashley Judd took to the stage with a fiery performance of a poem called “Nasty Woman”--written by a 19-year-old from Tennessee named Nina Donovan--that mentions, among other things, the tampon tax (a personal fave of ours). As a crier and a D.C. attendee, I can attest to the magical feeling of femme and female solidarity that had many of us in tears; but I also recognize that not everyone in attendance felt safe and supported for a variety of reasons, and that, too, is worth our consideration. However bleak the situation may appear right now, there is progress on the horizon. Check out the Women’s March page for details on how to have your voice heard during the first 100 days (at least!) of this administration.
Trump's Executive Orders
Sooooo the Women’s March is technically over and now it’s time to go home and sleep for the next three years and 359 days, yeah? Hmmm, think again. With the direction and at the pace that the President is moving in right now, the road to equality and safety for all people is a long and troubling one. What’s the dude managed to do in his first six days in office, you ask? One of Trump’s first moves was signing an executive order that reinstates a Reagan-era global gag rule, banning foreign aid and federal funding for international organizations like USAID that provide abortions and/or resources and information about abortions to women in the global south. Known as the Mexico City policy, this is expected to threaten the lives of thousands of poor women who otherwise live without access to the appropriate prenatal care. Sweet! Next, DJT announced his intent to go ahead and do away with VAWA grant programs as a means of cutting down on ~wasteful~ government spending. These programs are responsible for distributing ca$h money to a variety of organizations that are committed to ending sexual assault, domestic abuse, dating violence, and other very terrible, awful things. Apparently, the Trump administration views these funds as totally expendable, while for many U.S. women, they are the difference between life and death. But the President “values life” right? #PutAmericansFirst? Yeah, I don’t think so. And finally, our cheeto-in-chief has signed the go-ahead for both the Dakota Access and Keystone pipelines--a direct slap in the face to the Native and environmentalist communities in the U.S., as well as a big dollar sign for the fossil fuel industry. You’ll remember the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe that tirelessly worked to defend their sacred lands and resources in North Dakota, which is now gearing up for a renewed fight, resisting Trump’s executive order for the two pipelines. Their resilience is an inspiration to us all! Here’s to the good fight, y’all!
Braided Solidarity at Mexico Boarder
While millions of pink pussy hats marched for equality, some women flocked to the Mexican border to show their own form of solidarity, braiding their hair together to symbolically demonstrate an opposition to division and border walls. And even though the Juárez/El Paso scene hair-alded far less media coverage than the rest of the demonstrations around the world, the women present shared the same message of feminist resistance that the marchers carried with them onto the streets. Noting how issues of immigration are unquestionably tied in with a greater feminist goal--especially the immediate threat that cruel immigration policies pose to women who are more vulnerable to sexual violence, as well as the forcible separation of their families--the timing of this protest, on the day of the women’s marches, was very important. Sending love to this brave braidy bunch!