Did the Women’s March in D.C. and across the country speak for every woman in America? If you ask those who participated or supported the event their intent was clear: This march was for ALL women.
Those of us who have expressed skepticism for the March have been told (me on my Facebook page) that we must be clueless, unenlightened, elitists, privileged or just missing the point if we didn’t support it. Worried maybe I was, in fact, missing the point, I spent several hours over the last 48 hours reading as many news stories, first-hand accounts, scoured photos and watched dozens of videos from news sources and marchers themselves.
My conclusion: For the organizers, this rally was never about reaching me or women like me.
Despite claims to the contrary, this rally was never intended to be for all women; it was for progressive women.
Before I get to why I have come to that conclusion, let me say that many women I respect, each with their own reasons for participating, joined in the march in D.C. or ones like it around the nation. I applaud those women. If you used this march as a way to peacefully and respectfully exercise your freedoms — rock on with your bad self. That is something I can get behind even if I don’t support the organizers cause.
I joined the Tea Party shortly after it was founded. I’ve rallied; I’ve marched; I’ve done bus tours from Miami, Florida to Pensacola. I’ve done a bus trip from South Florida to D.C. I’ve been a part of a movement bigger than myself and I will forever applaud anyone who stands up for their principles even when I don’t support those principles.
Now, lets get to who the nuts and bolts of this rally, who was behind it and who they put on stage:
On the Planned Parenthood page, a post about abortion. On the NRDC page, a post declaring that the reason women are marching is because climate change is the biggest threat.
You need not look beyond the sponsors or partners of the event to get the point, but I continued and here’s their “Unity Principles.”
We believe that Women’s Rights are Human Rights and Human Rights are Women’s Rights. We must create a society in which women – including Black women, Native women, poor women, immigrant women, disabled women, Muslim women, lesbian queer and trans women – are free and able to care for and nurture their families, however they are formed, in safe and healthy environments free from structural impediments.
Women deserve to live full and healthy lives, free of all forms of violence against our bodies. We believe in accountability and justice in cases of police brutality and ending racial profiling and targeting of communities of color. It is our moral imperative to dismantle the gender and racial inequities within the criminal justice system.
We believe in Reproductive Freedom. We do not accept any federal, state or local rollbacks, cuts or restrictions on our ability to access quality reproductive healthcare services, birth control, HIV/AIDS care and prevention, or medically accurate sexuality education. This means open access to safe, legal, affordable abortion and birth control for all people, regardless of income, location or education.
We firmly declare that LGBTQIA Rights are Human Rights and that it is our obligation to uplift, expand and protect the rights of our gay, lesbian, bi, queer, trans or gender non-conforming brothers, sisters and siblings. We must have the power to control our bodies and be free from gender norms, expectations and stereotypes.
We believe in an economy powered by transparency, accountability, security and equity. All women should be paid equitably, with access to affordable childcare, sick days, healthcare, paid family leave, and healthy work environments. All workers – including domestic and farm workers, undocumented and migrant workers – must have the right to organize and fight for a living minimum wage.
We believe Civil Rights are our birthright, including voting rights, freedom to worship without fear of intimidation or harassment, freedom of speech, and protections for all citizens regardless of race, gender, age or disability. We believe it is time for an all-inclusive Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
We believe that all women’s issues are issues faced by women with disabilities and Deaf women. As mothers, sisters, daughters, and contributing members of this great nation, we seek to break barriers to access, inclusion, independence, and the full enjoyment of citizenship at home and around the world. We strive to be fully included in and contribute to all aspects of American life, economy, and culture.
Rooted in the promise of America’s call for huddled masses yearning to breathe free, we believe in immigrant and refugee rights regardless of status or country of origin. We believe migration is a human right and that no human being is illegal.
We believe that every person and every community in our nation has the right to clean water, clean air, and access to and enjoyment of public lands. We believe that our environment and our climate must be protected, and that our land and natural resources cannot be exploited for corporate gain or greed – especially at the risk of public safety and health.
These aren’t principles meant to be inclusive to all the women of the nation. These are partisan talking points on issues from abortion, to immigration, environmental policy and sexuality that define major differences between the political parties.
I’m all for women’s rights and I’ll write about and celebrate those all day long, but let’s not kid ourselves. This rally wasn’t meant for every woman. It was meant as a rallying call for progressives.