Many people question whether or not feminism is still relevant and necessary in this decade. There have been three waves of feminism that have been documented throughout history. The first one was the Women’s Suffrage Movement. This was the first time women came together to fight for what they felt was their right to vote. Once this was accomplished, there was a time when feminism wasn’t deemed necessary. The second wave of feminism was in the 1960’s, when again, women came together to fight for equality in a different way. During this time there were significant social changes that impacted how women were not being given the same rights as men. They wanted freedom in their reproductive rights and the ability to express themselves openly. Once again, feminism came in a third wave, which is what we might consider the current fight for new freedoms and equality. The Women’s March in 2017 was a very visual demonstration of the fact that women are still fighting for equality in today’s society.
What is Feminism?
Feminism can be defined in a variety of ways depending on who you ask. According to www.dictionary.com feminism is defined as “the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes”.
It is what a male or female can call themselves if they stand up for equality. Feminism is not about hating or men or wanting women to be more superior. Also said by, https://www.nytimes.com/, Feminism is a political movement. It can be advocated many ways and most recently the Women’s March in 2018 was a very large demonstration of modern day feminism.
What is the Women’s March?
The Women’s March was a political movement in response to the election of President Trump in 2017. According to www.britannica.com/event/Womens-March-2017, this was the largest group in history to gather in order to protest the inauguration. According to, https://intpolicydigest.org it all began when Teresa Shook was upset about this presidency and decided to make a group on facebook to rant about this situation and how we needed to stand up and do something. She made a simple suggestion that women should march and she woke up the next day with a large number of people that had responded to her message. This then led to many other individuals willing to stand up and take a position, thus creating the largest protest in history. One of the symbols of the people participating was a pink hat with cat ears, this became the theme of the anti-Trump march.
Women were coming from all parts of the country and participants from California decided that the weather was cold in DC, therefore they knitted these pink hats with cat ears to wear during the march. Little did they anticipate how popular these would be with other individuals that were marching along side of them.
How did people react?
This protest had many reactions, both positive and negative. There were many famous celebrities that spoke at the protests that happened across the country. Janet Mock is a trans woman activist who stated ‘A movement is much more than a march. A movement is that different space between our reality and our vision. Our liberation depends on all of us.’ ( https://abcnews.go.com/) This quote really speaks to the heart of the Women March and the intent behind the movement. Many of these famous people were very inspiring to participants both young and old.
There were also many negative reactions about the protest that were not supportive of the movement. One of the main critiques of the march was that it was not inclusive of all women, but mainly focused on the white women of America. Supported by, www.timesofisrael.com There were many anti-semitism claims that came from people at the protest. They did not feel it was a representative group.
How has the Women’s March impacted America?
This event was an attention grabber for women both young and old. It opened the eyes of the younger generation of females and introduced them to the idea of modern day feminism. Just at their ancestors in the past had to come together and fight for a change, this was another opportunity to unify their voices and advocate for what they believed in. Since the initial march in 2017, there have been subsequent marches each year in many different locations across the world. The Women’s March has been an empowering movement for many individuals that both attended and heard what the cause was for this protest. This may have influenced other young generations to stand up for what they believe in. For example, the #metoo movement is another form of protest where women were feeling empowered to speak out about being treated unequally. (https://metoomvmt.org/ ) The Women’s March has been an inspiring event that has lead to social change in many areas. According to https://www.huffingtonpost.com this protest challenged many people to speak up and do something about their anger of the election and their feelings about inequality.
The Evolution of Feminism
As reported by https://www.progressivewomensleadership.com in the early 1900’s women wanted to be treated fairly in both the workplace and in the voting booth. This was classified as the first wave of feminism, when women had to come together to fight for equality on these issues. In the 1960’s, women were again coming together to fight for equality in being able to express themselves and their bodies freely. They also were fighting for the government to pass an equal rights amendment in the constitution, which is still yet to occur. The third wave happened in the early 1990’s and is described as a fight for equal rights in reproduction and it is also focused on equal wages for women. Reported by, https://www.vox.com the fight for equality seems to be a continuous theme for women throughout the centuries. The Women’s March could be considered the next wave of feminism on the level of fighting for rights on a wide-scale national level.
The Women’s March has been a very powerful influence on once again bringing people of all ages, race, gender, and ethnicities together to rally for one cause. This has been a monumental fight for this current time period in which we live. If anything, this movement has shown that there are still battles that need to be fought for equality in the present time. The waves of feminism in the past continue to influence the future generations to stand up for what they believe in and not give up on the fight for equality.
- Eisenberg, Bonnie. “History of the Women’s Rights Movement.” National Women’s History Project, 1989, www.nwhp.org/resources/womens-rights-movement/history-of-the-womens-rights-movement/.
- Issitt, Micah L. “Feminism Debate”. 2018, http://eds.b.ebscohost.com/eds/detail/detail?vid=0&sid=10ac6bba-7d4d-42f8-8dad-3fa53dd6d622%40sessionmgr104&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmU%3d#AN=89158187&db=ers info ohio
- Vigil, Tammy, et al. “The Women’s March and Its Impact, One Year Later.” Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) | Human Resources, BU Research, 2018, www.bu.edu/research/articles/the-womens-march-and-its-impact/.
- “Women’s March.” Edited by History Editors , History.com, A&E Television Networks, 5 Jan. 2018, www.history.com/this-day-in-history/womens-march.
- “Women’s March.” Women’s March, womensmarch.com/.
- “Gender, Sexuality, & Identity – Amnesty International USA.” Amnesty International USA, 2019, www.amnestyusa.org/issues/gender-sexuality-identity/.
- “Women’s March on Washington: Mothers, Daughters on Trump.” Time, Time, time.com/womens-march-on-washington-trump-inauguration-mothers-daughters/.
- Rafferty, John P. “Women’s March.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 14 Jan. 2019, www.britannica.com/event/Womens-March-2017.
- Mehta, Seema. “Here’s Where All Those Pink Hats at the Women’s March Originated.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 21 Jan. 2017, www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-pol-womens-march-live-here-s-where-all-those-pink-hats-at-the-1485009172-htmlstory.html.
- Stein, Perry. “The Woman Who Started the Women’s March with a Facebook Post Reflects: ‘It Was Mind-Boggling’.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 31 Jan. 2017, www.washingtonpost.com/news/local/wp/2017/01/31/the-woman-who-started-the-womens-march-with-a-facebook-post-reflects-it-was-mind-boggling/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.ca9a23758c11.
- ABC News, ABC News Network, .go.com/Entertainment/10-empowering-quotes-womens-march-washington/story?id=44948631.abcnews
- Halstead, John. “10 Things The Women’s March On Washington Accomplished.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 27 Jan. 2018, www.huffingtonpost.com/john-halstead/10-things-the-womens-marc_b_14380660.html.
- Dorey-Stein, Caroline, et al. “A Brief History: The Four Waves of Feminism.” Progressive Women’s Leadership, 27 Aug. 2018, www.progressivewomensleadership.com/a-brief-history-the-four-waves-of-feminism/.