Around the world today, thousands took action in various forms to highlight the ongoing struggle for gender equality while marking the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. These demonstrations in recognition of International Women’s Day served as one positive indication of the sustained collective action that will be necessary to define, build, and carry on the legacy of January’s Women’s March on Washington. Let us not forget that just six weeks ago three to four million people, about one percent of the U.S. population, participated in the largest demonstration in American history. We are a new and growing one percent, defined not by the power we derive from material wealth, but from the power of the people, of democracy in action.
As evidenced today, many have continued to use protests and demonstrations as a core method for promoting a progressive agenda that upholds core American tenets of equality, freedom, and human dignity, views we see in direct contrast to the priorities of our 45th President. Despite this very active form of engagement, a growing disaffection is palpable among a subset of this population, which struggles to articulate a platform beyond mere “resistance.” After all, we have seen other young movements languish when they were unable to articulate an action-oriented platform motivated by specific policy goals.
Perhaps this struggle to define ourselves owes in part to the notion that promoting such fundamental values seems too rudimentary to be a movement in 2017. But this concern must be balanced with the fact that many find strength in an inclusive agenda. After all, our collective voice finds accord in such visions as standing for the “protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families,” diminished greed and corruption among the political and corporate elite, and a nation where segments of the population “are no longer systematically and intentionally targeted for demise.” Continue reading