Day 1 of 1,461: The Women’s March vs President Trump
We won the battle not the war. One day after Trump was inaugurated women led one of the largest international protests ever. The following Monday Trump cut funding for safe abortions.
On January 20th, 2017, the United States as we knew it turned into a darker and desperate country, lead by none other than Donald Trump. Trump, tv personality turned POTUS, lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes. In response to his campaign’s misogynistic approach, and his own personal demoralization of women, about 3 million people marched for women’s rights and equality the following day.
Women protesting is nothing new. Just last year thousands of women in Mexico marched in protest of sexist violence many women were facing every day, and in Aleppo 20 women chose death over being raped. Women have been fighting for their rights to be treated with dignity and respect since the day men felt they could take it away from us.
What makes last Saturday’s March different was both the media coverage of the march, not just nationally but internationally, and the sheer number of participants from across the globe. Nearly 3 million women, in 7 different countries, came together to speak out against the new president. These women marched in most major cities around the US, as well as in some tinier rural areas. These women spread messages of love and hope, while also claiming their bodies as their own and not as objects that the government should be able to control. They protested others having control of their bodies, their uteruses, and their “pussies”. They protested for equal wages. They protested the hate speech used against them. They protested the current president trying to divide us. While the original agenda of the protest might have been lost in the sea of other agendas that came to light, the one thing that is undeniable is that women decided enough is enough and it was time to fight back. Everyone from celebrities, to the middle class working woman, to children who came with their parents went out to tell Trump that women are not going to allow him or his cabinet to control us without a fight.
After the protest women felt empowered and happy to be part of such a strong community. Trump, however, had different plans.
Trump responded by screwing over women’s health around the world the following Monday. Monday morning Trump signed an executive order which cut funding for a global health insinuative because it helped provide safe and legal abortions for women internationally. If the participating groups decided to continue providing abortions their entire funding would be cut. This is dangerous for women because in not only cuts funding for safe abortions, but it also cuts the funding for all preventative care, which could prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place. Without a safe and legal place to receive abortions, women are going to refer back to “back alley abortions” which are dangerous and can way to often lead to death. Women aren’t going to stop seeking healthcare just because funding is cut; they’re just going to have to seek it from dangerous and less sanitary places.
(Luckily, the Netherlands announced a counter funding system to take the place of the funds Trump was cutting. I would personally like to say Thank You to the Netherlands for being a progressive country of hope for womens’ health in this period of Trump.)
If this is how Trump responds to one of the biggest protests in history during his first week as commander in chief, I’m honestly afraid of how the next 1,000+ days are going to go.
Trump has continued to sign executive orders since Monday, and he is sure to sign more. His administration is going to continue to push their own agenda throughout his hopefully short lived presidency. For the duration of Trump’s time in office, women need to continue to fight for their rights. The women’s march was a massive success; however, those supporting the cause shouldn’t stop now. If we stop fighting for our rights now, then before we know it more and more of our rights will be stripped away before our very eyes. If women stop now it will just allow Trump and his administration to continue to push their harmful and sexist agenda.
While Trump isn’t the reason America has been misogynistic in the past, he in the one leading the oppressive movement now. If women continue to fight back and say “this is unacceptable and we need change”, it could very well force the administration into being a more progressive government which could allow every person in America to have the basic rights to our own bodies that we deserve.
The saying goes “we won the battle but lost the war”, but I think it’s time for that to change. If women continue to stand up against oppression, we might just be able to turn it around and for be able to say “we won the battle AND the war”.