Thursday, January 26, 2017

Blog Post 1
COMM 250

  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.


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  2. It looks like I might have to paste my response in chunks. Sorry!

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  4. PART 1
    I would like to add some comments to your article, but first I would like to say that I am pretty neutral between the two sides as I like seeing both perspectives. It seems like the Women’s March got a lot of attention, especially since a big part of of the movement was dispelling Trump’s stance on Pro-Life, which would restrict women’s choices over their bodies. But there is another side to the protest. The other side believes that the unborn child has a right to a choice, and the choice is the right to live. I think the point of the Women’s March was to unite women together to stand strong, but the differences between the pro-life and pro-choice organizations put a rift between women.

    Some would say that the March For Women wasn't so much as an anti-trump march, but a Pro-Choice March. Although the March was much about Women's rights, it was also about disability, and immigration, and feminism. But it appears that many of these concerns were overshadowed by the pro-choice movement. But can you only be a feminist if you are pro-choice? Co-Sponsors of the Women's March included Planned Parenthood, as well as NARAL Pro-Choice America. It also originally included New Wave Feminists. The New Wave Feminists is a pro-life feminist group that is all about women empowerment. Their organization is described as “Badass. Pro-life. Feminists.” On their blog, a writer stresses that women are so dependent on Planned Parenthood because they isn't any "comparable alternatives [that] give women real options and practical support [sans abortion]" Once news got out that New Wave Feminists would be a co-sponsor, people flipped out. Some commentators made it very clear that they believed pro-choice individuals are not feminists. Some examples of tweets included one from Jessica Valenti writing, “Horrified that the @womensmarch has partnered w/an anti-choice org. Please reconsider - inclusivity is not about bolstering those who harm us.” Another example comes from Roxane Gay writing, “Intersectional feminism does not include a pro-life agenda. That's not how it works! The right to choose is a fundamental part of feminism.” Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa, the New Wave Feminists founder, told Slate that she saw the march as “a strong, united female voice to say ‘we’re watching you and we’re holding you accountable,” adding that the group was “ [originally] really excited to be included in that voice.”

  5. PART 2

    Being a feminist is defined by many people differently as we have all grown up and had different perspectives, but a good definition of a feminism in my opinion is given by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. She says that a feminist is a person that believes in the social, economic, and political equality of the sexes.
    Another perspective comes from Maria Lyon, who describes herself as feminist and pro-life supporter.. She told the New York Times, “It’s hard, because right now it feels like if you’re pro-life, you’re anti-woman. That’s kind of the traditional rhetoric. It’s like if you care about women and you care about women’s rights then you should be pro-choice.”

    Interestingly enough, New Wave Feminists isn’t the only group that got turned away from being a co-sponsor of the women’s march. Students for Life of America, a pro-life group also claimed they put in a request for becoming a co-sponsor, but were reportedly ignored by the organizers of the march.

    I want to end with this great quote I found by Carole Joffe, a sociologist and reproductive rights advocate at the University of California, San Francisco. She told the New York Times. “Is it even possible to have a conception of American feminism that does not involve pro-choice and pro-contraception?”