Has feminism gotten too trendy for its own good?

22 01 2018

Thoughts on the latest Women’s March.

Here’s the deal. As a feminist I feel like no matter what I do or what I say, someone somewhere will always be there to tell me how I’m wrong; they will be there to inform me that I don’t do enough for the cause. And you know what, fine.

I am wrong.

I don’t do enough.

The other night I fell asleep on my friend’s couch in Cap Hill, in the morning I awoke to the sounds of shouting and stomping and cowbells. I knew right away it was the Denver Women’s March. I thought, ‘good for them’ as I tried to go back to sleep. The noise continued. I realized the only way to get back to sleep was to make my way home, which meant I had to step into the noise.

womens_march
People who fight oppression all have different individual approaches, which I appreciate. When we know our own strengths we can utilize those skills to make a more lasting impact. Mad props for the 200,000+ people who showed up at the Women’s Marches across the country.

As someone whose strength lies in critically analyzing situations, people, things, media, and events, I have to admit that for over a year now I’ve been confused as to what the point of the Women’s March actually is.

According to their website:
The mission of Women’s March is to harness the political power of diverse women and their communities to create transformative social change.”

Huh?

So, the women’s march is an ‘umbrella march’ for people to come and walk around yelling about whatever thing bothers them the most?

Cool.

Now what though?

When I left my friend’s place I only had to walk one block before being thrown into the thick of it. There were indeed thousands of people; they were energetic, their pink pussy hats perky with the possibilities of change; you could see the excitement on their faces as they screamed words that were only barely understandable; their well-made witty signs glistened waving hello to me in the morning breeze.

Because I’m still trying to understand the point of the Women’s March here’s what I hope happened.

I hope the women’s march left people feeling inspired, motivated, ready to go back at it and work to make the changes we need to live in a more well-balanced culture.

I hope that people learned more about how inequality, discrimination, intersectionality actually works etc. and what we can do to dismantle it.

I hope that the women’s march and everything that surrounds it isn’t just a liberal trend that helps feed capitalism in a different way (anyone else remember the 90s “Girls Rule, Boys Drool’ campaign?). Tired of these old white dudes? Support these women and people of color with your hard-earned money instead (as we still feed the same system that has always been in place).

I hope that we realize that sexual assault/harassment is bigger than Hollywood, that it infiltrates all the way to the lowly bottom of society and is taught in the homes and in the education system either consciously, subconsciously, or both and it will take the collective to overcome, that a new way of understanding has to be written.

I hope that the Women’s March and all the latest feminist discussion isn’t just about getting more Democrats elected into office, but that we all pay closer attention to the viewpoints and action-plans of ALL people running for politics and that those people understand that we are indeed ready for a positive paradigm shift and that we choose those who are willing to do the hard work to make this shift happen.

I hope that we learn how to dismantle the patriarchy in order to have a system in place where all people feel empowered, where all people have agency, and this isn’t just about flipping the roles of power.

I hope that one day there will no longer be marches at 10 in the morning on a Saturday when people could be sleeping in instead because there will be no need for such things.

I hope.

Which, is more than I was doing last year when I was more or less depressed and apathetic about everything.

womens_march_2
I escaped the throng of the pink pussy hat crowd and had made it several blocks away by this point; the white dude lit up on the street sign and I started to cross the next block. I made it about halfway when a large red SUV started to turn into me oblivious to the fact that a pedestrian not only has the right away but that a pedestrian happened to be walking across the street at all.

The vehicle’s window was down.

“Hey, yeah! I still exist,” I yelled.

The car stopped inches away from my body, I noticed a basic white bro in the driver’s seat.

I gave him my classic side eye.

“Sorry,” he mouthed.

I’m not sure if I believe him, but I, like the rest of the world, want it to be true.

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