Evolution of the Women’s March

As I looked at the pictures on Twitter and Instagram of this year’s Women’s March, I couldn’t help but think about my experience at the first march in Washington D.C. three years ago. For me and many others in attendance, that first march was about doing something. The half a million people marching in Washington D.C. and the millions protesting around the world made a statement that they did not support President Trump’s values. It also served as a unifying moment for marchers and supporters to release their frustration and anger. It felt like a pivotal moment in history, both for women and for America; however, all of the hope and passion the event created was mixed with a sense of dread over what came next. 

Photo Courtesy of Jessica Parrish Photography

 

Despite some internal conflict and reorganization, the individuals behind the Women’s March have managed to turn that moment into a movement. This movement has often had blurry objectives as so many different groups have identified with its progressive platform, but it has become a movement nonetheless. Looking at some of the developments of the past several years, it’s hard to ignore the continued impact of the Women’s March. Vox connects the Women’s March to the record number of female candidates that campaigned and were elected in the 2018 midterm elections; a group of those young women of color, dubbed “The Squad,” have been dominating political discussion since they took office. In Nevada, the influx of female candidates even resulted in a majority-female state legislature. Additionally, supportive internet groups, such as the Pantsuit Nation on Facebook, have amassed millions of members and, according to Pantsuit Nation’s website, their mission urges “story-driven activism.” This message seems to be at the heart of the Women’s March movement as well: individuals reclaiming their political and social power personally and collectively. 

It’s hard to say whether the relationship between the Women’s March and these political accomplishments for women is correlation or just casual; but in either case, I think it’s fair to say that the Women’s March served its purpose of galvanizing attention to key issues and empowering women and other minorities. 

Photo Courtesy of Shana Clapp

 

Since 2017, it’s clear that attendance at the Women’s March has declined, both in Washington D.C. and around the world, but the movement it ushered in is far from over. Vox describes this evolution by saying, “the march itself has become less central, replaced in many ways by more decentralized efforts to elect progressive candidates.” Naturally, supporters and critics wonder what the future of the march will look like and how it will influence the 2020 election season. In the future, the movement may no longer be represented by pink hats and protests, but hopefully women will continue to feel empowered as they run for office, campaign and elect representatives, and participate in the political process this year.

 

 

 

Sources:

https://www.pantsuitnation.org/chapters-543164.html

https://www.vox.com/2020/1/17/21068870/2020-womens-march-washington-election-women-voting