It wasn’t until I attended the under-reported and casually dismissed Women’s March that I appreciated how Women must feel all the time.
Feelings of hope, empowerment, and unity I had first felt in Washington DC a year ago came rushing back as we inched our way down a sunny Central Park West on a beautiful Saturday morning three weeks ago. This was a hybrid protest/parade, both a condemnation of the words and actions by the Trump administration and a celebration of female empowerment, epitomized by activists registering attendees to vote and many signs urging people to “grab them by the midterms”.
The 2018 Women’s March in NYC may have lacked some of the overwhelming outpouring of emotion of a year ago, when the March provided the first glimmer of hope to millions of people struggling in the aftermath of the Presidential election, but that should take nothing away from the movement’s continued momentum.
In fact, 2018 will be the first time the strength of the movement will really be revealed in the run up to the 2018 midterm elections, as activists build on the groundwork laid in 2017 and historic numbers of women run for national and state-wide office:
To date, 390 women are planning to run for the House of Representatives, a figure that’s higher than at any point in American history. Twenty-two of them are non-incumbent black women — for scale, there are only 18 black women in the House right now. Meanwhile, 49 women are likely to be running for the Senate, more than 68 percent higher than the number who’d announced at the same point in 2014 — The Cut
The Women’s March was the first taste of mass civic engagement for myself and hundreds of thousands of other men and women who care greatly about reducing the systemic inequalities that perpetuate our society; it won’t be the last.
The media may have covered the 2018 March as though it were a nice walk in the park for women, but there is a potent force emerging that could fundamentally alter the political landscape for the next decade for the better. Republican or Democrat, correcting the gender imbalance in Congress is an undeniably positive step forward for the United States.
The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements represent different but no less impressive pieces of evidence that the tide has finally turned and a wave is rising.
Underestimate Women at your peril.