Written by Victoria Miro
The Women’s March on Washington was a grandiose event that was based in Washington, DC, but spread to other states, and even other parts of the world. The basis behind this movement is up for interpretation. Some say it was a march protesting President Donald Trump’s Inauguration. Others say it was about human rights- LGBTQ+ rights, pro-choice vs. pro-life, women’s rights, racial equality, immigration reform, etc. Some will even argue that it was a mixture of both, or an interchangeable idea. Each person who attended the march was fighting for something, whatever that may be, and definitely found the support they were looking for. The march was covered by just about every media source, but each source looked at the march from a different perspective. The ultimate question is: what was this march really about?
What does the left-wing have to say about it?
In an MSNBC article posted on Twitter at 6:45 AM on January 21, 2017 titled, “Women’s March Brings Flood of Pink Hats, Fiery Rhetoric to Washington,” the article draws on the purpose and intention of the march right away- women’s rights. The article continues on to talk about the pink “pussy hats” the women wore, and the homemade signs, that all focused on a powerful message in response to President
Trump’s recent remarks regarding the treatment of women. Much of the article seems to be in support of women’s rights and the opposition of Trump’s presidency. They quoted people who had the same views (those who were fighting for women) and was heavily focused on how these people are planning to continually fight for women’s rights. The article clearly expressed their opposition to Trump’s views of women and their support behind the women fighting for their rights in the march. Almost every source quoted in the article was a female- celebrities, mothers, daughters, grandmothers, activists, etc. The only man quoted in the article was a husband supporting his wife, who went along with the same ideals the article portrayed. It was clear MSNBC wanted to emphasize the idea that these women are marching for their rights, and will not take no for an answer, nor will they allow President Trump to continue to degrade women, as he has shown in the past. This march was about women’s rights.
The Washington Post wrote an article posted to Twitter at 7:20 PM on January 22, 2017 titled, “At the Women’s March, the men mattered, too,” taking another look at t
he march from the point of view of the men who participated in the march. Unlike MSNBC, who mostly quoted women in their article, this article focused on the thousands of men who came to show their support of women, and/or their opposition to President Trump. One of the quotes came form an 8-year-old boy named Asa Bergander whose sign read, “We are all the same.” Asa told reporters that he was concerned about the wage gap between men and women, saying that, “Girls don’t get as much money as boys when they do the same work.” It then goes on to use Asa as an example of the many men who feel the same way and came to the march in support of this movement, agreeing that women can do what men do and that there should be no difference in how one is treated simply based on gender. The article includes a lot of “we” statements that indicate MSNBC’s support of and alliance with the women and men who marched, and their cause, as well. This march was about equal rights.
Neutrality- what is it good for?
The Guardian tweeted an article called, “Women’s March on Washington and other anti-Trump protests around the world” at 1:47 AM on January 21, 2017. The article was formatted to give a brief description of the top 10 marches in cities around the United States on the day of the march. The list of cities included: Washington, DC; Los Angeles; Chicago; New York; Atlanta; Denver; Phoenix; Boston; Oakland; and Austin. There was no argument on what the event signified or what they were fighting for. The article really just focused on the multitude of people who attended the event in each of the cities:
- Washington, DC- 1,000,000 people
- Los Angeles, CA- 500,000 people
- Chicago, IL- 250,000 people
- New York, NY- 200,000 people
- Atlanta, GA- thousands of people (no specific number given)
- Denver, CO- 100,000 people
- Phoenix, AZ- 20,000 people
- Boston, MA- 100,000 people
- Oakland, CA- 60,000 people
- Austin, TX- 50,000 people
With these statistics, roughly 2,280,000 people showed up across America to fight for something they believe in. That does not include all of the people who gathered in other countries, like Australia, to show their support, as well. This march was about unity.
Is the right-wing right?
Red State posted an article at 3:01 pm on January 21, 2017 called, “He Women’s March On Washington Is Nothing But Feel-Good Grandstanding.” The article is very critical of the march, claiming that the people marching are marching for no good reason. One of the biggest point they make throughout the article is the fact that the march was one day after President Trump was inaugurated. Red State argued that they didn’t understand why people were fighting against Trump’s policies- abortion rights, LGBTQ+ rights, women’s voting rights, etc- when they still had all the same rights they had before Trump’s inauguration. Essentially, the argument was that the march was pointless, given that they had not had any rights change or be taken away in the last 24 hours. Another big argument was the issue that the march was called “the Women’s March,” yet they were also fighting for immigration reform, racial inequality, and other civil rights issues. What do those issues have to do with women’s rights? An interesting quote in the article was, “The government’s role s to protect rights, not create them.” Red State talks about how these women are expecting the government to make all of these new “rules,” or rights, in order to create equality, but they argue that the government’s purpose is to protect the existing rights they have as human beings, not make new laws for the special treatment of women. This march is about left-wing liberals retaliating against their loss in the Presidential election.
The Wall Street Journal posted an article on Twitter at 6:06 AM on January 21, 2017 called, “Demonstrators gather for Women’s March a day after Trump inauguration.” This article focused most on portraying the march as an angsty response to President Trump. It discusses the same thing all of the articles do- they marched for women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, immigration reform, racial equality, etc. This article in particular, however, really clouded the march to make it seem very negative and hate-filled. They did not portray it as a peaceful protest, but rather a vicious attack against President Trump an
d his policies. They also brought up the violent outbreaks the day of President Trump’s inauguration, where people threw bricks into the window of a Starbucks in Washington, DC where over 200 people were arrested for destruction of property. All this to emphasize that this march was not peaceful, but hate-filled. This march was about fighting back against President Trump.
So, what is this march really about?
Each media source had its own opinions about the march, as many Americans do. People
went to march for their own reasons, whatever that reason was. This march was not about one specific problem we have in the United States, nor was it a general idea that everyone went for. People went to speak their mind, to voice their opinions, to find hope through the unity of their peers who marched with them. It did not matter who you were or why you were protesting; it was about the protest itself. It was a chance for millions of Americans to stand as one nation, under God, indivisible. The words behind the Pledge of Allegiance that we have all been taught since kindergarten is what led this march to be as grandiose as it was. This march was about coming together as a nation to let our voices be heard as our democratic government was intended to do.