January 20, 2017 marks the day that a billionaire businessman with a history of sexual misconduct and a tendency for manterrupting has been made President of the United States. It’s enough to make your blood boil, isn’t it? But don’t get angry, get organised. And that’s exactly what women in the USA are doing, following the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as the country’s 45th President.
Looking at everything that has happened since Trump was named president-elect, here’s a handy guide to addressing the ableist, homophobic, patriarchal platform on which he stands. And it’s something that many in other countries can use, if they foresee a similar threat to their democratic values:
There are various fronts on which the Trump presidency will be a massive blow to women’s rights. For one thing, he plans to defund Planned Parenthood, which has been providing healthcare to low-income men and women, as well as abortion services. But wait, there’s more. His administration plans to cut funds for initiatives for civil rights and violence against women too. Americans have identified these and other problems, and have called for a massive Women’s March on Washington, this Saturday, Jan 21, to “send a bold message […] that women’s rights are human rights.”
Metro services in Washington are opening two hours earlier on Jan 21, to facilitate roughly 200,000 people showing up for the march.
But because not everyone can use public transport, or even be physically present for the march, explore other ways to participate. Like the the virtual march, organised by disability rights activist Sonya Huber, for those with chronic illnesses.
Among the performers at WMW are gender-shattering musician and “Hidden Figures” actor Janelle Monae, as well as queer icons Emily Saliers and Amy Ray of The Indigo Girls.
A list of speakers released by WMW includes American feminist stalwart Gloria Steinem and former Black Panther activist Angela Davis.
And if you thought members of the film fraternity weren’t making good on their disdain for Trump, actor Scarlett Johansson, and anti-gun violence advocate and director Michael Moore will also be present. We could go on and on about those in attendance, but you’ll see ‘em all soon enough!
— Ricardo Marquez (@iBlogBetter) January 20, 2017
— BayAreaHillShill (@Socrates_Burito) January 20, 2017
— jonalisa (@JonaLisaG) January 20, 2017
— Paul Zappia (@pzapstudios) January 20, 2017
— Lacy J. Brunnette (@LacyBrunnette) January 20, 2017
The mission statement released by the WMW organisers reads: “we support the advocacy and resistance movements that reflect our multiple and intersecting identities.” This means that the march will see the convergence of the many social justice movements that have flowered in America, from Black Lives Matter to LGBTQ rights. But that’s not all. The march has already declared its support for sex workers, and will see participations from over 45,000 people with disabilities.
And we’re not going to say anything about Trump’s attitude towards PWDs, because the Devil who wears Prada says it best:
From the get go, the WMW has created a massive buzz on social media, which today reached a crescendo, as people prepare for Saturday:
The #WomensMarch is going to be historic. If you’re thinking about going, stop thinking and get ready to go
— sandranator (@sandyhamada) January 20, 2017
“Maybe it’s time for more women to be in charge.” -Leslie Knope
i’m so ready for the #WomensMarch tomorrow
— Sally (@SallyAndVinegar) January 20, 2017
— Canexicana 🌷 (@tammy_wesa) January 20, 2017
— Leanna Loomer (@oldawnie) January 20, 2017
May the election of Trump bring forth the fiercest, smartest, toughest generation of ass-kicking women this country could possibly imagine.
— Jeffrey Wright (@jfreewright) November 9, 2016
Oh, and did we mention WMW chapters have opened up in 57 other countries, including Israel, Kenya, Peru and Georgia?
In an open letter to Trump, the American Press Corps has stated that it will “set higher standards for [itself] than ever before” for the duration of his presidency. Among several things, it has promised to scrutinise his every move, hold him accountable, and – knowing his penchant for being in the public eye – will regulate just how much airtime is spent on him and his associates. After all, the press is the fourth pillar of government, isn’t it?
Following the less-than-favourable outcome of the 2016 Presidential elections, demonstrators flooded around Trump Tower to say that “the racist, sexist and xenophobic rhetoric of Trump’s campaign would not become a new normal.”
And last night, veteran actor Robert De Niro, pop icon Cher, and feminist actor-director Mark Ruffalo joined thousands of New Yorkers to register their protest.
It helps when detractors of a fascist leader are able to reach out to millions of viewers night after night, like the cast of comedy sketch show SNL, who have consistently poked fun at and criticised Trump.
Elton John, Moby, R Kelly and many other celebrities have taken the bold stand by out and out refusing to participate in any Trump events.
And all of this is what the U.S.A., and the rest of the world, needs right now – to drive home the message that we will not back down.