The Populism of the Women’s March in the US

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In light of Donald Trump’s controversial inauguration as 45th president of the US, women recently organised themselves into a series of marches in order to show their power and political will. As many of us feminists know, institutionalised sexism, patriarchy, warmongering, racism and class division have finally come to the fore and have become far more visible and out of control during and after Trump’s march to the White House. Therefore, as a feminist, it was a thrilling sight to see millions of well-intentioned women and men taking part in demonstrations in the US and many other countries across the globe to highlight their now-endangered rights as women.

Women's March

Agreeing with many of my fellow feminists, it’s hard not to view President Donald Trump as symbolising the peak of capitalist patriarchy, division and the misogynist culture globally. The difference between Trump and other heads of capitalist states steeped in patriarchy is perhaps the openly expressive manner by which his bigoted ideas circulate – particularly his ideas concerning women, migrants and non-whites generally. Severe class division, privatisation and devastating neoliberal policies now characterise the West in 2017. The newly elected president, a huge driver of such an insidious state of affairs, not only personifies vulgarity, but he personifies both the sexually objectifying and misogynistic attitudes integral to the imperialist project; through the US’ pop culture; the Hollywood movies; and the giant media outlets and corporates that monopolise globally.  Reinforced and proliferated ageism, sexism, discrimination and the idea that, as women, we’re not okay by default (thus needing cosmetic surgery to be okay with ourselves) all ratify the fact that the world is becoming dangerously antithetical to feminist ideals.

As women, we all face threats of rape, harassment, killing, poverty, unemployment, war, destruction and terrorism. Opposing the personification of the capitalist regime, President Donald Trump, and the core of his misogynist ideology, requires global action and a resurrection of a free-thinking, universalist set of ideals.  Not only that, opposing President Trump is also going to require a global movement to carry such a momentum – one that resists the stumbling block of identity politics and communal division.

Although I admire the bravery of those who marched for women’s rights, I nevertheless feel obliged to publicly declare my criticisms of the 2017 Women’s March in the US.

Making a poster of a veiled Muslim girl as the logo for demonstrations representing the equal status of women is, frankly, bonkers – potentially dangerous. Veiling cannot (and should not) be endorsed as part of female-identity given the fact that millions of women across the Middle East are grotesquely compelled to wear it by force of law and even at gunpoint.

 

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