Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

December 9, 2023

D.C. Women’s march lost its way

Protesters demonstrate at the Women’s March on Washington in Washington D.C. on January 19, 2019. Photos by Rachel Leman.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – I moved to Washington D.C. three days before I joined the third annual Women’s March on Washington. Within four days of living here I attended one of the biggest protests nationwide, but I almost regret that I did.
For those of you unaware, I’m not on campus writing for the Observer as the Opinions Editor anymore because I’m studying away in D.C. for the rest of the academic year. I wanted to participate in this program for one specific reason: I care about politics. But I care about politics because politics influence social life and, in my experience, social life is far more effective in shaping who we are as individuals than anything else.
That’s why I wanted to march. I wanted to participate in the social movement of people who realize the social power of gender roles and stereotypes and help aid the world in destroying them. I wanted to march towards the Capitol Building screaming for the end of misogyny and the patriarchal society we live in. But that’s not what the Women’s March on Washington did.
I left the march early because the far majority of the signs I saw weren’t feminist; they were political. I saw countless signs saying “Dump Trump,” “Don’t Build a Wall” or “Open the Government.” All of these are obviously valid beliefs and requests to ask of our government, but that’s not what this march was. This march was for women’s rights, equality, feminism, the fall of the patriarchy and misogyny. This march was for the freedom from gender roles and expectations. Instead it was people chanting “Donald Trump has got to go” and releasing “Baby Trump” helium balloons into the wind down Pennsylvania Avenue. I want to rid this America of misogynistic leaders like President Donald Trump just as much as the next marcher that day, but by changing their social construction with feminism, not by increasing the polarization of our already gridlocked government.
This march should’ve been better than the quasi-policy opinions spewed that day. It was to a small glorious extent about believing women who profess #MeToo and voting more women into office to aid in feminist endeavors. There were marchers there who understood the message of empowering women by refusing to accept a male-focused society, but I knew the message was getting jumbled by those who asked for impeachment and made their protest signs into memes.
The only thing political protests do during a feminist march is give the target audience something else to focus on. Misogynistic Republicans will look at the march and disregard the whole thing because of those using the stand to make pointless arguments meant only to instigate. They’ll say the march was just radical feminists and wave it off. They’ll miss the point.
If any problem is to get fixed, we must stay focused on the message we want to send. I don’t want a government that locks out immigrants and doesn’t pay their workers either, but the way to solve that problem isn’t with “Impeach the motherf*ucker” signs during a protest about gender equality.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Augustana Observer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
D.C. Women’s march lost its way