We’re the Re-Sisters

Protesters in the Madison, Wis. Women's March Jan. 21 carried numerous signs. Police estimated the crowd size as between 75,000 and 100,000 people. Photo courtesy of Kathryn Anderson.

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Protesters in the Madison, Wis. Women's March Jan. 21 carried numerous signs. Police estimated the crowd size as between 75,000 and 100,000 people. Photo courtesy of Kathryn Anderson.

Commentary by Kathryn Anderson, Reporter

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Saturday, Jan. 21, the day after President Trump’s inauguration, women from across the country and around the world marched – but why?

There is a common perception that these women marched as a protest to Trump’s inauguration. Many women embrace this idea, while others claim that there was more behind the marches. As a woman that participated in one of these marches, I do not claim to represent the ideas of all of the women that marched, but I can explain my view and the reasons I went to march in Madison.

The Women’s Marches around the world Jan. 21 were examples of how women must stick together and continue fighting for their rights. This was a march not simply of protest, but of solidarity.

Over this past year, women have felt especially violated and assaulted by Donald Trump. Before the presidential elections, Trump allegedly sexually assaulted numerous women. One of his famous quotes is, “Just kiss. I don’t even wait. When you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything. Whatever you want. Grab them by the pussy.” The technical term for “you can do anything. Whatever you want. Grab them by the pussy” is actually called “sexual assault,” and it’s illegal.

By running for president and evading prosecution for his numerous alleged assaults, Trump was able to normalize rape culture over and over again. Trump once tweeted, “26,000 unreported sexual assaults in the military-only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?”

Putting aside the fact that rape in the military is a large problem that requires more attention (some claims state at least one in every three women has been raped during their time serving in the military), the fact that Trump writes, “What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?” signifies that he believes that this behavior is typical; acceptable even.

Men and women are always together; how could they not be? Around half of the world’s population is made up of males and the other half is female. People of the opposite gender share common space with any other gendered person almost all of the time. When Trump claims that rape happens, “when they put men & women together,” he normalizes rape. Trump’s logic concludes that because men and women together is a normal thing to see, rape is a normal thing to happen or do. Not only are the facts that Trump normalizes and participates in sexual assault extremely disturbing, but also he doesn’t have faith in nearly half of our population. When he tweeted the above quote, Trump made clear the fact that he believes that men at their core are rapists, because when one puts men and women together, of course there will be rape.

Trump has not only attacked women and offended men, but he has also been known to be incredibly racist. Even in the very beginning, when he announced that he would be running for president, he made several racist comments such as: “When Mexico sends its people… They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” Only some people from Mexico are good? Having been on three mission trips to Juarez, Mexico – one of the previously most dangerous cities in the world – I can personally attest to the fact that Mexican people are good – just like every other “nationality” in this world.

He later claimed that the United States wouldn’t have another African-American president because “laziness is a trait in blacks.” This too is incredibly racist. Obviously some African-American people may be lazy, but that doesn’t mean that every one is. There are people of every skin color that are lazy; laziness isn’t a trait solely found in African-American people. It is a trait found in every race of people, period.

Added to Trump’s racism and misogyny, he has also been known to be against immigrants in general, Muslims, the LGBTQ+ community, the Affordable Care Act, and women’s choice to have an abortion. Every single one of these issues was addressed on signs during the Women’s March Jan. 21.

If all of these issues were presented during the women’s march, why is it known as simply the “Women’s March?”

The women’s march was not solely about women as a gender. The Women’s March was a march of solidarity. It was a march in which every woman and man attending broadcast the message, “I am here with you. I support all of you and all of your natural rights.” It was a march where Christians, Muslims, homosexuals, heterosexuals, American citizens, and immigrants could all stand together in support of one another. It was not simply a march of women’s solidarity, but the solidarity of all people affected by the election of Trump.

While this march involved incredible amounts of people against Trump’s ideals and practices, this march was not an anti-Trump march. The Women’s March may appear to have been a march against Trump, but in reality, it was a march for the people. It was a stand against the racist, sexist, and homophobic views that Trump happens to exemplify so well.

 

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