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Denver Women’s March – “It’s About Our Daughters” … (and our sons, and everyone)

January 25, 2017
It's about our daughters

It’s about our daughters; The poster was carried by a supporter of Colorado NOW

Mothers, Daughters, Wives.

Sounds a bit …sentimental? Perhaps.

But there were a great many people, young mothers, couples who came with small children, and older folks like us worried about the future of our already grown children, our daughters, including the support of Colorado NOW, state chapter of the National Organization of Women. Why drag a six month old to such an enormous affair? Because people understood the demonstration is as much about the future, the future of our daughters (and our sons).

Why were so many sixty, seventy and eighty year old somethings there, walking with difficulty, many in wheel chairs struggling to make their way, in what was a sea of humanity, now estimated to have been 200,000 strong? That is a load of folk to wade through in a wheel chair or with a baby stroller. The policies that President Donald Trump is moving to put in place essentially by edict (presidential directives) are targeting everyone, but among the special targets, no doubt, are hard-won women’s rights. That is, what all Trump’s nasty, stupid, misogynous comments during the campaign were about. They were a prelude to a political coup which is now unfolding before our eyes.

Some of Trump’s attack on women has economic roots, but most of it, especially his attack on reproductive rights, Planned Parenthood and the like is simply a bone to the Christian Right’s obsession medieval obsession with reproductive rights. Trump himself probably doesn’t  gives a hoot one way or another about abortion. But he’s coming through for that part of his base with something and in return, he expects and demands allegiance. Remember this is a wheeler-dealer and for everything he gives, he takes back double in return. It isn’t that difficult in any case, because the Christian Right has absorbed much of Trump’s thinking on climate change denial, the assault on regulation, etc.

Women understood well that Trump’s personal attack against Hillary Clinton, if successful, would trigger a political reversal of women’s status in this country. In an effort of damage control with the goal of checking the Trump Administration’s plans to reverse decades, if not centuries, of women’s struggles for equality, they took to the streets. The accepted figure for how many people turned up in the USA alone is 2.9 million, itself an impressive figure. But now two social scientists, experts at estimating crowd numbers claim that no less than 3.7 million in the United States demonstrated across at least 500 different cities.  Those numbers come from professors Jeremy Pressman, of the University of Connecticut, and Erica Chenoweth, of the University of Denver, who have been compiling estimates for all the marches into a single spreadsheet. That would push the Reuters’ claim to the number of demonstrators worldwide, 4.6 million, to over 5 million people around the world who took to the streets to oppose the Trump Agenda. That’s a lot of people.

The accepted figure for how many people turned up in the USA alone is 2.9 million, itself an impressive figure. But now two social scientists, experts at estimating crowd numbers claim that no less than 3.7 million in the United States demonstrated across at least 500 different cities.  Those numbers come from professors Jeremy Pressman, of the University of Connecticut, and Erica Chenoweth, of the University of Denver, who have been compiling estimates for all the marches into a single spreadsheet. That would push the Reuters’ claim to the number of demonstrators worldwide, 4.6 million, to over 5 million people around the world who took to the streets to oppose the Trump Agenda. That’s a lot of people.

Frankly the poster struck both a broader social and also very personal bell as at least in part – it was about our daughters. Although when we come to the conclusion it is important enough, after half a century of it, Nancy and I are tired of demonstrations. We find it increasingly uncomfortable and exhausting to be in large crowds. Some demonstrations have an impact, others don’t; we try to choose accordingly. How would this one fare, we wondered? Besides, the time as come, not so much to retire from political work, but to step aside and let the younger generations of American radicals find their own way. But as soon as our two daughters asked if we would join them at the march, we knew we would go, to be with them and support them in the first round of the increasingly nasty battle for their future, and that of generations to come. And glad we were that we did. Of course it wasn’t just about “our daughters.”

No question that the women who organized this great march – or should we say more accurately – “these great marches” did so with their daughters in mind, the future. A century of women winning economic, social and political rights – actually 150 years and probably longer of social struggles would be more accurate – threatens to be swept away before our very eyes in a matter of months. It started with the movement to end slavery and the liberation of Black women from both the economic oppression of being slave laborers and the sexual oppression that went along with it. The last half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century was the battle for women’s right to vote. In the 1960s, women won, with the landmark Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision, greater control over their bodies, including the right to have abortions. Women have been key players in broader social movements, the backbone of those movements in fact – the labor movement, civil rights, peace movements. One could go on.

_________________

Denver Women’s March: “Pussies Now With Extra Teeth” – An Explanation of the Series

Denver Women’s March: “Nasty Woman Scientist”

Denver Women’s March: “If My Uterus Fired Bullets, The G.O.P Would Fund It”

Denver Women’s March: “Not Ready To Make Nice:” The Donald Trump Record: January 19-26, 2017…The Week from Hell

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