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‘The pussy grabs back’-The Women’s March on London and Washington

‘We marched for the protection of our fundamental rights and for the safeguarding of freedoms threatened by recent political events. We united and stood together for the dignity and equality of all peoples, for the safety and health of our planet and for the strength of our vibrant and diverse communities.’

On the 21st of January, the day after President Trump’s Inauguration, an estimated 100,000 protestors marched from Grosvenor Square to Trafalgar Square. The ‘intersectional’ March was intended to be a joint venture between many grassroots organizations. The organisers claimed that the event was not a direct response to remarks made by President Trump, saying:

 “The Women’s March on London is not an anti-Trump march per se. Though Donald Trump’s election was arguably the catalyst for a grassroots collective of women to come together”

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A long history of sexist remarks made by Trump have yielded concerns about his legitimacy as ‘leader of the free world’, and women have become ever more appalled about his lack of remorse for his comments:

‘when you are a star you can grab women by the p***y … You can do anything’.

In reference to FOX news host, Megyn Kelly: ‘you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever’

‘If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America?’

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The organiser, Beth Garner, critiqued that recent political events have become a “threat to fundamental rights, namely human rights, equality, dignity, safety and health.”

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The event was therefore organised to tackle: Racism, Homophobia, Islamophobia, Misogyny, Economic Inequality, Disability prejudice, Refugee rights and Transphobia. The high number of causes present at the event were claimed to be “intertwined” by the organisers, who stated:

 “They are intertwined with women’s rights because a significant proportion of women are people of colour, trans, lesbian, Muslim, disabled, economically suffering, and living on this earth.”

Most ‘nasty women’, who were present at the march, were clearly in contempt about his misogynistic comments but, were far more concerned about Trump’s views on abortion. Jane from ‘Democrats abroad’ stated:

‘Donald trump’s opposition to pro-choice groups in his campaign has been a clear attack on women’s rights over their own bodies’.

Only two days after, President Trump, signed a Memorandum to defund NGOs who advocate for abortion, the legislature was a reinstatement of President Reagan’s policy which was scrapped by subsequent Democrat administrations.

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‘President Trump’s reinstatement of the global gag rule ignores decades of research, instead favouring ideological politics over women and families,’ Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Democrat of New Hampshire, said on Monday.

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The March was a ‘sister march’ to the original grassroots ‘Women’s March on Washington’, which attracted a bigger audience and attracted a number of celebrity activists including Emma Watson, Scarlett Johanson, Madonna and Kristen Stewart.

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Johansson came out to endorse ‘Planned Parenthood’ at the event

The event drew some criticism for opposing the right of pro-life women to attend, who according to CNN, were told: ‘pro-life women need not attend’, this was seen as undermining the stated ethos of the women’s day march as being about ‘Women’s rights’, when 46% of white women are pro-life, who were then unwelcome to demonstrate for their own rights at the march.

Conservative News Sources, in addition, took issue with Kellyanne Conway not being formally invited, as she became the first ever female ‘Counsellor to the President’ in history. Conway then went on to criticise the march on ABC, saying:

‘Nobody called me and said, ‘Hey, could we have a dialogue?’

‘You have celebrities from the podium using profanity-laced insults. You have a very prominent singer who’s worth hundreds of millions of dollars not going over to a woman’s shelter here in D.C. to write a cheque, but instead saying that she thought of, quote, ‘burning down the White House’.

 

 

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Sadiq Khan, The Mayor of London;  Harriet Harman, former MP; and Yvette Cooper, MP for Normanton, all attended the march in London.

 

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Yvette cooper, who works to accommodate incoming refugees, standing as the current chair of Labour’s Refugee taskforce, commented on the podium at the march:

“We’re marching because we want no girl to ever have to lower her sites, be limited in her life because she sees the value of her life through Donald Trump’s eyes.”

“We’re marching because we want our boys and girls to believe in equality for the future and because when they go low, we lift our sights higher and higher and higher. And because here too in the UK we still have to fight for equal pay, fight to protect women from domestic violence, fight against hatred and racism and inequality”

She continued, making reference to Jo Cox, who was listed under the subheading, ‘why we march’ on the Women’s March webpage:

‘”because here in the UK a woman was murdered by a far-right extremist and people are still too afraid to call that out as terrorism and we will not stand on the sidelines anymore”

The march received mixed feedback, the most common criticism being the ‘timing of the march’, as it was deemed too late to protest Trump after already being elected. Piers Morgan, columnist for the ‘Daily Mail’ argued:

 ‘The time to have protest was two and half months ago when you could have stopped him, it’s a bit late now to take your placards out now.’

Columnist for the ‘Guardian’, Eva Wiseman, had a much more optimistic view of the march, she wrote:

‘There was something fiercely moving about last Saturday. It was partly the old-fashionedness of it, the simplicity of trudging through the cold with my family to be part of a massive crowd. Literally standing together. And, at the same time, the way it could only have happened like that right now, that campaigning continues online.’

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