Remember the Women’s March Last Year?

| April 3, 2018 | 0 Comments

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a live-recording of a podcast by Boston University’s The Common Thread on issues that are relevant today. One of the issues we discussed during a Q&A, was the Women’s March – specifically the one in 2017. More than a year later, I have had various discussions regarding said march in which I have expressed my instinctual discomfort with it, as well as my retrospective appreciation for it. More than a year later, I want to write about it, not only because I can finally type my thoughts into words, but also because I think talking about it today was just as important as it was a few yesterdays ago.

When this march happened, I did not participate in it. At the time, I came up with a few excuses as to why I would not be walking in solidarity with other women because I did not know how to tell some of my friends the real reason behind my decision – I was just not comfortable with this march. Instead, I mentioned homework, a headache, and/or several other privileged excuses instead of mentioning that it was the very privilege of white feminism that was bothering me.

The way I perceive it, white feminism is binary, be it in color or in the fluidity of gender. Do I think this means that all white people parlay in white feminism? Absolutely not! I do not even think that everybody who marched last year was ignorant or against intersectional feminism, but the vast majority of people that social media exposed me to on those streets equated feminism to a template of womanhood that should have already been eradicated.

During this podcast, one of the panelists spoke about the pussy hat that became symbolic of the march. To paraphrase, she said that not everybody’s pussy is pink. I could not agree with her more – when we equate feminism to a certain idea of a white woman, we have left millions of others behind. As elements of the suffragette movement show, this happened before in history – a century later, we should do better.

However, on whom does this betterment fall upon? Several people before me have spoken on the issue and several people after me will speak about it as well. People of color avidly try for better, more equitable, representation, but white people have to understand that they cannot shut these attempts out. A march in several cities in several countries, where almost every poster was on Instagram as a glamorized post on social justice, cannot equate to an accurate representation of feminism.
I know these arguments have been made a million times before. Consider this the million and first argument on the World Wide Web. My mother used to tell me that she will always repeat herself until I understand something – Internet, let us repeat ourselves until we all understand this thing.

featured photo credit: Eric.Parker DSC07397_eop via photopin (license)


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Hansika Ramchandani

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Hansika Ramchandani is a Junior double majoring in History and International Relations. She loves it when you laugh at all of her [not] funny jokes and accept the fact that she needs yet another cup of coffee.

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