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Men and women from across Georgia march down the path during the Atlanta Women’s March to 2020 on Saturday, January 19, 2019 outside KIPP Strive Academy in Atlanta. Over 100 people, both men and women, attended the march this year. (Photo/Christina R. Matacotta, crmatacotta@gmail.com)

In 1776, Abigail Adams famously implored her husband and Founding Father, John Adams, to keep women in mind during the creation of this country.

“I long to hear that you have declared an independency – and by the way in the new Code of Laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable [sic] to them than your ancestors,” according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.

It’s a classic plea among women of history. And yet, domesticity was never a homogeneous hobby. Some women decided they needed to take their freedom into their own hands, especially Abigail Adams.

From the 1920s to 2000s, women’s marches allowed women to get out of the house and make their complaints heard. Approximately 4.1 million people marched for women’s rights in the U.S. on Jan. 21, 2017, according to research from University of Denver and University of Connecticut.

The women’s marches of 2019 thus far have failed to live up to that size – perhaps because the march has deep problems within its organization and purpose.  

Only dozens of women attended the march in Atlanta on Jan. 19, 2019, according to 11Alive. This pales in comparison to the approximately 60,000 Atlanta attendees of 2017. 

Recent controversy before the march on Jan. 19 made some women stay home, according to National Public Radio. Tamika Mallory, one of the women’s march leaders, was accused of anti-Semitism for her association with Louis Farrakhan. Farrakhan is a leader of the Nation of Islam, which is considered a hate group by Southern Poverty Law Center. Attendance might have dropped as a result of drama caused by the march’s leadership. 

In addition to beliefs, the people who attend women’s marches have the time to participate and the resources to travel long distances to attend popular marching destinations. In Georgia, that destination is Atlanta, but supporters from all across the country head to Washington D.C. to march in the heart of the country. 

The ability to march is a privilege not afforded to a sizeable group of women. Marching is not accessible to the women who need to partake in it the most – the working class women at or below the poverty line. 

Even some middle-class women who can afford the time and energy to attend marches choose not to do so. Though no march has been called “The Leftist March” or “The Democratic March for Women,” many conservative women don’t see their beliefs reflected in the march’s liberal leaning goals, prompting them to forgo boosting march size with their attendance. 

Not everyone can get what they want in this country. Those who do have the time, resources and loudest voices succeed in obtaining their goals. This is why the Civil Rights marches of the ‘60s have been so successful – and the country is better for those marches’ success. 

But for women’s march sizes to improve in 2019, women’s marches will have to organize around what it originally set out to do: broadening the freedoms of all women in this country. 

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(2) comments

Rmyers

"But for women’s rights to improve in 2019, women’s marches will have to organize around what it originally set out to do: advocate for the rights of all women in this country."

What rights don't women have at the moment? I'm struggling to think of one and I can only think of rights or privileges they have that men don't; specifically, not having to sign up for Selective Service. Outside of that, I don't know where they're not covered.
Any group that comes together for a cause, and succeeds, has to either disband or find a new cause. Feminism set out for equality under the law and they won. Instead of declaring victory and going home they've had to find increasingly granular issues to elevate. Many self-avowed feminists aren't comfortable with equality of opportunity, or in the choices many women make for themselves - they want equality of outcome. It's why fewer than 20% of American's self apply the label.
Women's marches are suffering because what is it that you're marching for? To change deeply held opinions of millions of people? Because if that's it, marching isn't going to cut it.

Shstam

This opinion seems to be rooted in the thought that the march didn’t live up to your standards because of its size and inability to be inclusive of ALL women and people, when in fact, that was not what the march was about at all. A march is not more or less valued by the number of people that show up. If you paid attention, you’d see the crowd there was made up of people of all races, classes, and genders. It was made up of a multide of generations, all there for a purpose. It was inclusive of all and advocated for change in many different facets. The march is about being aware of privilege and using that privilege to advocate those who were not given a chance to be there advocating for themselves. Many different women, all coming from different places in this society, came and spoke on topics that not only effected them, but everyone. If you listened, you had an opportunity to learn from those who were different from you, and come together to rally for equality for all. The opinion that the importance of this was based on size seems to be the real problem and an attitude that does not evoke any sort of change.

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