Posters express conflicting themes of March
On the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration, Jan. 20, 2017, three of the female writers on “Late Night with Seth Myers” performed a segment during which Myers asked them their reasons for attending the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. a day later.
Amber Ruffin (an African American woman), Jenny Hagel (a lesbian woman) and Ally Hord (a straight, white woman) all provided different answers based on their personal identifications.
Hord said that her reason for attending was to “speak out against sexual assault and normalizing locker room talk.” Hagel believes “as a gay woman [that] the key message of the march is that there will be consequences if the Supreme Court tries to overturn [LGBTQ individuals] equal rights. Ruffin’s reasoning is that, as an African American woman, she will be attending to protest “voting rights suppression and gerrymandering.” Three different women with three different reasons for attending what CNN and other news sites called the biggest protest in American history with over 1 million people from all 50 states and across the world.
Despite the various reasons for attending, each participant expressed themselves by creating eccentric protest signs that displayed their reasoning for attending the march. These signs were unique works of art that added to the communal nature of the march. Many signs expressed the discontentment toward Trump and his close relationship with the Russian President, Vladimir Putin.
One sign was a bag of Cheetos — a nickname Trump has because of his orange skin tone — that said, “Not my president.” Lots of signs made jokes about Trump’s appearance, as well as about his close relationship with Putin.
One sign was about Trump’s wife Melania with a slogan that said, “If there was a ban on immigrants where would Trump have gotten his wife.” Many signs depicted Trump’s cabinet picks and future plans to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare.
However, the majority of the signs referred to the Trump Administration’s proposed plan to take away federal funding for Planned Parenthood, as well as to overturn Roe v. Wade in response to the growing Pro-Life movement.
In fact, many women and men were wearing knitted pink hats that resembled cat heads in response to Trump’s demeaning insults about women. It is because of the popularity of these hats and the accompanying signs that the Women’s March became a march for women’s rights. The Women’s March on Washington’s website says that this isn’t so. According to the Women’s March website’s list of Unity Principles, they believe in more than just “ending violence, reproductive rights, LGBTQIA rights, and civil rights.” Marchers also protested for immigrant rights, environmental justice, disability rights and worker’s rights, as well.
The overall response to the march is best represented in one sign which read, “I’ll see you nice white ladies at the next #BlackLivesMatter march, right?” The main criticism of the march is that white women showed up because they felt like this was about them.
However, in order to truly create a world with intersectional feminism, all women need to show up for causes, especially those pertaining to marginalized groups.
Hord closed out the “Late Night with Seth Myers” sketch by saying, “At the end of the day, we all agree this is about women from different backgrounds, coming together making sure that this administration protects our rights.”
Hord’s point illustrates how various marches from across the world created a movement, one in which all people — regardless of race, class, sexuality and gender — can stand up for what is right.