On January 21, millions of people all across the globe took to the streets to “defend women’s rights and those of others in response to the rising rhetoric of far-right populism.” Hoyas, with pink hats and clever signs, took to the White House to participate in the historic Women’s March. Though not technically billed as a protest, the movement allowed those who felt silenced during the election to let their voices ring. Men and women, senators and pop stars, all peacefully challenged the head government and attested to the strength of our democracy.
Even though the Women’s Movement reached a global scale, I believe the aftereffects have the most potential to affect social change. On Georgetown’s campus, anger and disbelief have translated into concrete action: the Iranian Cultural Society hosted a letter-writing campaign, college republicans and democrats hosted a phone bank, impromptu groups take to the Supreme Court to protest any number of appointments or policies. The angry rhetoric, previously confined to friends or Facebook, has finally metamorphosed into a construct call to action.
While a movement like the Women’s March has the potential to galvanize, publicize, and problematize, local and targeted actions get politicians to notice. While a visual expression of opposition had its benefits, the March did not fully outline precise goals nor represent a diversity of races, identities, or economic statuses. We can use the March has a starting point, bringing in different perspectives and attempt to challenge our own biases.