Women’s March defends equal rights

Credit: Aisha Han/Visual Editor Credit: Aisha Han/Visual Editor Credit: Aisha Han/Visual Editor Credit: Aisha Han/Visual Editor
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Jan. 21, 2017 is marked in the calendar as the day when the “power” and the “pink rebel” challenged each other. While the power refers to Donald Trump’s Inauguration ceremony as the 45th President of USA, the ‘pink rebel’ points to the Women’s March that was the largest one-day protest in the US history.

I call the Women’s March the “pink rebel” because of the symbolic pink hats that the majority of the people wore that day. The pink hats are aptly called “p**** hats” and were manufactured under the Pussyhat project to denote solidarity and unity among the protesters.

Reports suggest that at least 3.3 million people across the United States took part in the protest. When it comes to Washington, D.C., the source city for the event, the crowd count soared to more than half a million — almost three times greater than the President’s Inaugural ceremony! Well, you just need basic math here to measure the success of the events. If there is one thing that I have observed in these days, it is this: The citizens of the country are at unrest. Women, workers, immigrants, LGBTQ, and environmentalists — everyone who makes our society diverse and unified at the same time — now feel insecure about their rights.

Many people did lose faith after the United States’ election results, and the Women’s March was their beacon of hope. The pink rebel brought together people from across the world to unite for a cause — to stand and fight for your rights! And by “your” I don’t just mean women, but anyone who felt deprived and forbidden of what is theirs. So that day when millions of women protested, a little fire ignited in me, too. I thought, “How often do we see a march led by a community that stands not just for itself but for all? That is so rare!” I could see the immense strength that the pink rebel bore to stand against the current government and to voice its opinion. But as I started building my castles of bright future, I came across various articles and news that showed women of color were annoyed at the event.

They alleged white women to be fighting for their own cause and also reminding the masses that white women voted for Trump! According to Vox, 53 percent of white women voted for Trump and according to CNN only 7 percent of black women and 25 percent of Latino women voted for him.

And I was back to square one again. My little flame of hope started to flicker and I sighed in despair. I could easily see a tension emerging. I pondered, “How does the skin color or a person’s vote preference defy the fact that we are a community first and an individual later?”

If almost half of the women voted for the President, there is a considerable half that did not. Why blame the community for what half of the white women did? Are we not grown-ups and mature enough to live with the reality of the inauguration? After all, we cannot play the blame game forever!

A woman from North Carolina shared her experience as a protester who carried a sign, White Women Elected Trump. In her article, she quotes the comments of passersby as she walked in the protest. According to the writer, she received high-fives and ‘thank you’s from black women and Latinos and frowns from younger white women. Many of the older white women made angry rejections claiming that they didn’t vote for Trump, they voted for Hillary Clinton. The writer said that the whole idea of the sign was to make people uncomfortable as it also made her uncomfortable. Moreover, she says that it’s time that white women own what the statistics tell and continue their fight for different causes. In her opinion, the mere idea of acceptance sends a strong message to different women communities — a message that white women stand united with black, brown, trans or queer women.

Every successful event has some shortcomings but the Women’s March proved to be powerful even after plenty of criticisms. When millions of rebels join together in a peaceful protest, it does not remain a protest anymore. It becomes a revolution — a change! The rest we can hope is for the government to look after us and our rights. And just so the government does not forget the pink rebels, there is another peaceful protest rising called The First 100 Days of Resistance. Its goal is to show resistance against the government’s destructive agenda in the next 100 days.
The government must be for the people, of the people and by the people. Let us just hope that nobody forgets that!