Exactly a year ago a new movement was started. Upon the first day of Donald Trump’s presidency, millions of women took to the streets to gather in solidarity. This year, on January 20th, 2018, the second annual Women’s March took place, this time also in protest, but also as in action.
The theme of this year’s collection of Women’s Marches centered around the theme of “Power to the Polls”, an attempt to bring in more women to vote and elect more women into government positions.
Instead of D.C., this year’s headlining city was Las Vegas, where more thousands of protesters showed up to support. Speakers at this march included voices like Black Lives Matter co-founder Alisha Garza and Planned Parenthood Federation of American president Cecile Richards. Additionally, the sister protests taking place across the country also featured their share of important speakers, including music artist Halsey, who shared a powerful poetry piece about her experience with sexual assault.
This year’s Women’s March put a spotlight on many of the issues that were ignored within last year’s demonstrations. These issues include immigration rights, representation of transgender women and of women of color. Additionally, the iconic “pussy hats” that were the symbol of last year’s protests were questioned. Some believe these pussy hats are less inclusive, as they imply that one’s genitalia defines their womanhood. Yet, many still believe that these simple knit hats serve as powerful imagery to signify the struggle for women’s reproductive rights.
Either way, it is inarguable that these hats were still displayed at this year’s march, although not in the same large quantity. These pink caps have become a powerful image of resistance. However, it is always important to remember that while some women still wear these hats, they are not a symbol that represents all feminists. Pussy hats imply that all women have vaginas, and that all vaginas are pink – that is simply not the case. Not all women share the same reproductive organs, and that is ok and awesome. Additionally, vaginas come in a range in colors, and that should be celebrated too.
What makes feminism great is that there are range of individuals fighting for a similar cause, and that is what should be celebrated – not hat that symbolizes exclusivity.
Ultimately, I look forward to what we accomplish in the upcoming year, as the Women’s March urged voters to “Grab ‘em by the Midterms.” I know myself, along with others, will be there to do exactly that, as we go to support the 600+ women expected to run in the upcoming elections.