Are Protest Marches Truly Inclusive?

I will first admit that I love the Women’s Marches. It’s an incredible display of womanhood and it’s a reminder that women are here to make our points and the time for silencing us is in the past. 2017 heralded the first Women’s March and the second one occurred a year later. The movement first began to protest President Trump’s inauguration in light of sexual abuse allegations against him. However, it’s worth discussing whether or not these marches serve as a valuable space for women or as an exclusive space for a certain type of woman.

Some argue that this march houses an ignorant type of activist, the kind who unknowingly trivialize the cultures of indigenous people.

Others argue that the march was bred to be inclusive of issues that pertain to a broad range of communities. The official Women’s March Twitter was adamant that this march was also to show solidarity to DREAMERS.


Another point of view is the inclusion of “performative feminism,” or “white feminism,” otherwise defined as feminism that only exists for accolade or does not pertain to all types of women. Several pro-Palestinian groups boycotted the Women’s March over the appearance of Scarlett Johansson, an actress who has a history of support for Israeli settlements built on the West Bank.

I suppose this argument boils down to a choice between which branches of feminism you’d like to support. You could support the feminism of the marginalized through protesting the appearance of ScarJo. But that would compromise ScarJo’s speech, in which she publicly called out Hollywood star James Franco after his pedophilia allegations arose. The accountability held by Johannson is admittedly very imperative in the culture of sexual abuse currently in Hollywood. Or you could voice support for pro-Palestinian and indigenous groups and be considered a more inclusive champion for the rights of all women. I personally prefer the latter over the former, but it also makes me wonder why spaces for women are still a war zone. How much will it take for a space to exist where all women can feel safe enough to speak out? The Women’s March was engineered and cultured to be that space and yet controversy still bubbles at its center. Is this always going to be the nature of political marches? Can an inclusive space for women exist at a large scale? I suppose this is a question that will be answered in the future, but I am very intrigued to find out the answer.



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