At the #Women'sMarch 2018, TimesUp and MeToo campaigns find solace

People gathered to keep the discourse of sexual misconduct and other social evils alive

2017 was the year of protests for America. It was the year that started with a concerted effort to question their president, his actions, comments and policies. It was also the year when women decided to put up a united front against any kind of sexual misconduct. The year the Harvey Weinsteins and Aziz Ansaris of the world felt at risk.

While we enjoyed our Saturday, a sea of pink knits or “pussy hats” slowly swelling in numbers took to the streets of the United States of America and the world. Marking the one year anniversary of the Women’s March 2017 – the last march was held on the day of US President Donald Trump’s inauguration – people gathered to keep the discourse of sexual misconduct and other social evils alive.

 

What does the Women’s March stand for?

Like last year, this Women’s March did not restrict itself to gender equality, as people walked together to raise their voice against initiatives undertaken by the Trump administration, such as the immigration ban, healthcare, racial justice, and police reform, among other issues.

The last march drew criticism for having a narrow purview when it came to women’s concerns as a number of feminist, especially women of colour, had been strongly advocating against police and immigration reform. This year, the organisers ensured that woman of all backgrounds were invited to attend the events.

However, tackling sexual misconduct at a time of TimesUp and MeToo campaigns were at the core of the Women’s March in the US as Hollywood celebrities like Natalie Portman, Viola Davis, and Scarlet Johansson, among others rallied for an end to sexual harassment, sharing their personal experiences of being objectified.

March on the day of government shutdown

It was pitifully symbolic of the sorry state of affairs plaguing Trump administration as the march was held on the day the US government shut down due to gridlock in Congress. By midnight on Saturday, the Congress was stuck trying to reach a deal on immigration.

Forty-five Senate Democrats and five Republicans refused to accept the measure that the Trump administration was trying to put in place. The White House apparently showed “unwillingness to accept a bipartisan proposal to address the nearly 700,000 immigrants in legal limbo after he pledged to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program”, Vox reported.

Even to resolve the shutdown, one side will have to give in, which would mean either the immigrants or their allies will have to be collateral damage.

Show of strength

The Guardian reported that tens of thousands turned up for the march in Washington, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and a large number of other cities in the United States and also all over the world.

What emerged as the victor at the Women’s March all over the world were the posters, taking on issues that people felt needed to be raised.

 

The only dampener to the exuberant spirit was Donald Trump’s tweet about the march, which drew heavy criticism from the Twitterati

 

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