Yes, yes we can! After the woman’s march on D.C. was announced there was immediate controversy over the inclusion or lack of inclusion of women of color in the planning. Thankfully that was overcome but not without some hand-wringing. As it turns out US women of color weren’t all that was left off this “civil rights” oriented, narrowly focused and provincial protest.
However it was good to see patriarchy jabbed in the eye. All men all people stem from the womb of women, even Donald Trump. And as one young Black male rapper put it, Black women have even had to teach their boys to be men.
We were treated to a glimpse of women’s power.
Without question any time women or any oppressed group come together to push back against their marginalization their victimization their oppression is a good thing. Defending the right to choose, equal pay for equal work, stronger and better enforcement of laws against sexual assault, ending police violence, are worthy of protest. Some even protested hate. If we are honest this was already a pretty hateful place, just ask Colin Kaepernick
Some suspect that like much of the anti-Trump hysteria the march(es) were grounded upon fears that our favorite ox may get gored. No doubt much of it is based on fears that women’s rights will be turned back, gay rights will be turned back and that the planet itself could be destroyed by a megalomaniac at the controls. And there is good reason to fear.
Yet women coming together was a good thing even though it was in part organized by some of the folks who helped perpetuate the problem of women’s inequality and oppression in the first place, the Democratic Party.
At rally’s all over the country the nice women plantation “keepers” were invited to speak. These are the same folks who: refuse to implement $15 an hour, or single payer universal healthcare; who refuse to sign any significant accords to limit climate change; who refuse to reform the system of mass incarceration and whose policies of domestic surveillance, deportation, warmongering while allowing corporations to steal at will without consequences, have opened the door for Trump’s anticipated further right-ward swing.
These liberal politicians reminded us of how the Plantation isn’t as bad as it could be because of their presence and they warned it was about to get worse. But of course it’s still a plantation and notice they didn’t advocate leaving or “restructuring” the Plantation.
Revealing her privileged class status the recently elected Black and Indian US Senator from California Kamala Harris speaking at the DC rally said,”Imperfect though we may be I believe we are a great country.” Says who? The point one percent? She has it wrong, no one expects government perfection, but rather fairness. Government should provide the opportunity for everyone the ability to eat, feed the children, get a decent education, afford a roof over their heads, real singl payer universal healthcare while affording every one equal rights and equality of opportunity.
A very real and important truth was left out. At bottom our problem is structural! No matter who sits in the White House if they preside over the same economic/ social /political system (whose main reason for being is the profit motive) then we will in reality continue to have a need for women’s marches and all other kinds of marches related to human and civil rights.
The marches which took place in major urban metropolis’ all over the country were shadowed by the cries of poor women in general, poor women of color and poor women of immigrant households. It was haunted by the tears of the thousands of inner city mothers who buried daughters and sons lost to gun violence from their fellow hood dwellers and trigger happy cops charged to keep order.
They were also haunted by the struggle of women in the so-called developing or Third World just to eat, just to live. NY Times columnist Nicholas Kristof recently wrote about women in Madigascar as the victims of climate change feeding their children boiled cactus leaves to survive because they have nothing else to eat. Climate change has dried up their land, making cultivation of crops impossible. It was haunted by the death of Emilsen Manyoma Afro Colombian human rights activist fighting simply for her people to live in peace in Colombia. It was haunted by Honduran environmental rights activist Berta Caceres murdered because she thought her people and not multinational corporations had a right to the land.
Ultimately all women are going to have to link arms across cultural ethnic and national boundaries if we are to have true peace and justice in the world. And women living in the belly of the most powerful capitalist beast in the world are going to have the responsibility of saving the world.
Injustice to one should be seen as an injustice to us all.
justice then peace