Whether you are a man or woman there is a 99.9% chance you have heard something about the Women’s March on Washington that took place January 21, 2017. The march was scheduled for Washington but spread all over the United States to cities like Chicago, Denver, even Lincoln had a women’s march with a large turn-out. According to Democracy Now the crowd for the march was about three times the size of the audience at President Trump’s inauguration. The march also spread to other continents like Antarctica and Australia. The big questions being raised about these historic marches are: What exactly was the purpose and how did the march become such a success?
The date of the march being one day after President Trump’s inauguration was no coincidence. According to NBC News the organizers of this march wanted the message to scream loud and clear by scheduling the march on this day. This message being: Women’s rights are human rights. After Trumps shocking comments were broadcasted during the election about women and plans to take away services like Planned Parenthood women wanted to make their message heard. One women participating said the march was not an anti-Trump march but rather a “we are watching you, Trump’ kind of march”. According to the women’s march website the mission was for women to stand together for the protection of their rights, safety, health, and families.
Now that we know the purpose of the march the question is how did this march become such a wide success? Social media played a big role in broadcasting this march and making it known to everyone all over the world. None of the women participating in the march were coerced or forced into participating but rather were persuaded by the events going on around them. Trumps comments made about women persuaded them to come and let their irritation be heard. Celebrities and other social figures gave speeches about women’s rights and shared their dislike of Trump’s policies. Women also created signs with messages like “Get your rosaries off my ovaries” and “I’m your boss now Trump. Shape up or you’re fired”. These clever signs have caught much attention, especially over social media. Sites like Facebook and Twitter are full of pictures of the funny signs created for the women’s march. These signs are being used to argue for social change and share in a funny or shocking way how people are feeling. The speakers at the rallies shared their emotion and fear that other people were feeling, bringing this group fighting for change closer together. By coming together, rather than communicating over the internet, these women were able to not only gain media attention but also form a stronger group. In class on 1/26 we discussed how people use rhetoric to show what you should be paying attention to. The women’s march used rhetoric to get people to pay attention to their concerns and gained attention by their large turnout and clever signs. They hoped to bring their issues to President Trump’s attention and I believe he heard them loud and clear.