Last Saturday, people across the country took to the streets to march for Women’s rights in an annual protest that began as a direct result of the Trump inauguration. As usual, the Sacramento march attracted thousands of attendees; as the state capitol, Sacramento functions as a hub of social activism and attract demonstrators from all walks of life. New York college student, June Robbins explained “I think Sacramento has one of the best Women’s marches because of the diverse board and everyone really tries their best. Despite this, the national organization has not been as progressive as they want it to be. The event has lost some of its power as it has become a photo-op for moderate white women”.
While there have been issues with the Sacramento march specifically it is clear that every year, progress is made. The rally of speakers and performers that immediately follow the march has become evidently much more inclusive of women of different religions, ethnicities, abilities, sexual orientations, and gender identities. This year there were criticisms made about the ableism that is inherent in the march and the language that is often used to describe activism. For example, many signs discussed “standing up” or “speaking up”for one’s beliefs. As I spoke to attendees I realized that many of them had not been aware of the presence of ableism within social movements. It is often rallies and presenters such as these that help raise awareness and promote inclusivity and diversity.
Another example of the progress that has been by the Women’s March in recent years has been the increased inclusion of people of color. West Campus student, Abby Morioka explained “The Women’s marches are a fantastic opportunity for women to join together in solidarity to fight the patriarchy. Although there is inclusion of women of color, I feel as though there is still plenty of room for improvement when it comes to overall inclusion and diversity”.
While the general inclusivity if the event has improved since the initial march, there is still plenty of potential for growth. As discussions of women’s rights remain mainstreamed in the wake of movements such as #MeToo and Time’s Up, events such as the Women’s March have become increasingly important methods of expressing solidarity and unity in the constant efforts for women’s rights.