ON THIS DAY: JANUARY 21 – WOMEN’S MARCH
March 22, 2021
Translated by: Maria Galanopoulou
Women’s March was a protest movement of approximately 4.6 million women who, prompted by Trump’s victory in the Presidential Elections of 2017, swarmed the streets of the United States with the aim to, as they say, “abolish systems of oppression through passive resistance, while building inclusive structures, driven by self-determination, dignity, and respect”.
With his victory in the Presidential Elections against the Democratic Hilary Clinton in 2016, and his control over Congress, the Republican Donald Trump’s conservative views and particularly those against women such as the fact that “you can do whatever you want with them… grab ‘em by the pussy” managed to spark the hatred of all those who were put in immediate danger.
The day after his election, a woman, Teresa Shook, organized an open call through Facebook to perform a protest march in Washington. Millions of women and men were eager to respond to this call, while marches started to be organized in other states, as well. The organizers made sure to clarify that it was not a march against Trump, but a march in support of social change and, in particular, a march against gender inequality, and violence, but in favour of LGBTQ and civil rights, a financially accessible healthcare system, environmental consciousness and reproductive freedom, criminal justice and defense, racial, religious, disability and immigrant rights.
The marches were performed on January 21st 2017, the first day of Trump’s assumption of his duties. Cities such as New York, Boston, Chicago, Seattle, and Los Angeles sent a loud message that perhaps echoed the Civil Rights Movement of 1980.
Many of the protesters, irrespective of gender, were wearing pink knit hats with two cat ears standing out at the top corners, the so-called pussyhats, comically referring to Trump’s aforementioned misogynistic comment about their genitalia. These hats eventually became an informal symbol of the march, too.
The organizers aspired to create a resistance movement that, apart from the annual march, would assume a long-term role branching out to educational actions and the formation of groups for the exercise of political pressure.
The movement has been tirelessly carrying on for four years, each year inspired by the different needs of society for representation. In particular, in 2018 the #metoo movement was one of the central messages of the movement, while, in 2020, RBG’ (Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s) death led to the march being repeated twice in the same year, both in January, as usual, but also in October, one month after the death of the great feminist Supreme Court Judge.