On Jan. 18 the Women’s March organization held the 4th Women’s March in Washington D.C. to protest for equal rights, against President Trump, and other public issues. According to the NY Times, there were tens of thousands of demonstrators in Washington, and over 250 events around the country too. Among the issues discussed and highlighted were equality, reproductive rights, climate change, immigration, and the call to end Trump’s presidency.
Signs are an essential part of marches and protests, and they did not disappoint. Posters for the 250+ events around the country were handmade, printed, and designed. Banners were even made too; one particular banner was bright orange with bold black letters that said “Trump/Pence #outnow” with a link to refusefascism.org at the bottom. Others had sayings like “Women’s rights are human rights,” “We out here drippin’ in feminism” (a reference to Bruno Mars and Cardi B’s song Finesse) and “This pussy grabs back” (a reference to Trump’s quote to “grab them [women] by the pussy) with a painting of the female reproductive system, and one particularly strong and hopeful “We won’t go back” sign held by a little girl.
Particularly in Washington D.C., the protests intertwined with criticisms of Trump’s presidency. One could agree that it is hard to advocate for reproductive rights when not only is a man president, but an unprecedented and outspoken one at that. Under the Trump administration organizations like Planned Parenthood have had their funding taken away and been placed under more restrictions making it harder for women to access their services. Regardless of one’s opinion of Planned Parenthood, women’s health is being decided by men. This would upset anyone who feels someone is making decisions for them without their approval, especially in a matter as important as one’s health.
It’s hard to separate current politics and the president from the causes the marchers are fighting and advocating for. Trump’s presidency and impeachment trial validate concerns many Americans have had over the past 3 years. While no president is perfect by any standard Trump has reinvented what it means to be a president. Through Twitter, Trump has been able to express his opinions with no filtering or rephrasing by journalists. He claimed that “Nobody has more respect for women than me,” despite his recorded history of sexual misconduct. It would be imprudent to discredit the head of our country and his effect on politics.
A majority of the House of Representatives voted for Trump’s impeachment under the articles of impeachment, the charges being the abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, according to CNN. Donald Trump was officially impeached on Dec. 18, 2019. The process of impeachment then moves to the Senate with a trial. Right now the Senate is in the process of opening arguments, according to the New York Times. The senators will then question both parties and make a decision on the evidence. Trump is unlikely to be removed from office based on the majority of Republicans in the Senate who will most likely align with their party in favor of Trump.
But what effects do a male president and his impeachment have on the march? Some would say a large one. According to the New York Times, Laurie Kaczanowska, a 66 year old retired criminal prosecutor, stated that the march is “all about Donald Trump. This march is about the many issues that face women and families, so climate change, of course, is up front. But here and now we have to pay attention to protecting our republic’s democracy. Because I think that’s in danger.”
Trump’s impeachment was the validation that his opposers needed to feel after their protests and call for justice during his three years in office. Donald Trump is not a role model for women, or for how a man should treat women. The countless amounts of evidence against him date back to rape allegations by his ex-wife Ivana Trump, claiming to grab women by their genitals, and sexual assault accusations against him by over 22 women, it’s inaccurate for him to claim that he respects all women based on his history.
Therefore, it’s hard to stand behind someone who has a muddy history and an impeachment trial literally deciding if he is guilty of committing crimes. Regardless of whether Trump is actually removed from office or not, one thing is for sure; his reputation and 2020 campaign will be hurt. The question is, can he come back from this? And the more important question is, should he come back?