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Friday, February 03, 2023

After the original organizers of the march had a falling out in 2017, the Women’s March has seen a wave of controversy over how it should be led. In 2017, during and after the first Women’s March, a struggle about the argument of privilege began in regards to women’s rights.

According to the New York Times, Vanessa Wruble, a white New York based activist of Jewish heritage, invited Tamika Mallory, a black gun control advocate and Carmen Perez, a Latina civil rights activist, to become partners in the planning of the Women’s March. Wruble began to believe her planning was being pushed to the side due to her Jewish background. She claims anti-semitic comments were directed toward her from Perez and Mallory. Wruble points out that Mallory also has ties to Louis Farrakhan, the head of the Nation of Islam, who says that Jewish people have profited off black men and women.

However, Mallory and Perez deny that Wruble was ever sidelined due to her heritage. Both women of color, Perez and Mallory wanted to be leaders in the march, not just background players. The pair wanted women of color to be at the forefront of the march, highlighting all women’s struggles. Mallory and Perez say they were fighting for women of color to be the leaders of the march, while Wruble says she was discriminated against.

Wruble was asked to leave the Women’s March, but Mallory and Perez both say it had nothing to do with her heritage. Wruble went on to create March On, another activism group that planned a march for Jan. 19, the same day as the Women’s March.

According to the Associated Press, an estimated 100,000 people attended this year’s Women’s March, a big difference between 2017, where the amount of attendees is contested, but generally understood to be the biggest march in Washington since the Vietnam War.

We can’t speak to other people’s opinions on the Women’s March, however, it should be said that it’s a shame the Women’s March, has seen so much controversy in regards to race, class and religion. If we look at the bigger picture, the women’s rights movement should include all women. The message of the Women’s March and other organizations are important and shouldn’t be watered down by outside politics.

We remember the first Women’s March as being a day of unity for women, but we can’t denounce the women who felt excluded. All women should feel included in this movement, despite race, religion or political affiliation.

If the Women’s March is going to continue to draw crowds and promote change, it has to create an atmosphere that is inclusive for all women. The Women’s March was created when women felt that their voices were not heard and they decided to take to the streets. It was historic and powerful.

This year’s march doesn’t quite hold that strength. It’s been muddied down by controversy that has caused a stray from the main goal of the marches, which is the equality of all women. It may leave some women feeling like participating in the march is wrong or unjustified. There are inherent flaws within any system, even ones meant to promote equality.

The Women’s March doesn’t have to be the only organization that gathers women together. It’s not the organization itself that matters, it’s the message. We have to remember that expressing and promoting our beliefs doesn’t have to be facilitated by one organization. It can be done for yourself.

If women attending the march felt that the message was powerful enough for assembly, then that’s their prerogative. They have a right to share their beliefs and to fight any injustice they feel is being done to themselves or others. Anyone who attends a march doesn’t necessarily agree with a certain companies affiliation.They believe in the bigger picture of the movement.

The Women’s March isn’t what it was in 2016, and maybe it never will be again. But, it can still be powerful. It just needs voices willing to speak out. This can be done through donations to women’s shelters or to Planned Parenthood. If you feel that something is important to you, don’t let the politics of an organization stray you away from your goal of equality. Find a way to make a change on your own.

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