‘Million Women March’ Protest Was Appropriating Black Activism

| Strategize!

Above Photo: Facebook

A high-profile effort to protest president-elect Donald Trump the day after he’s inaugurated received backlash from some people of color and progressives this week.

Due to Trump’s many sexist comments about women, organizers say may people independently had the idea to have a women’s march to protest the soon to be president. They joined forces on social media to form the “Million Women March.”

Many black women quickly pointed out using that name is appropriation.

Here’s what one critic wrote on Facebook:

“Someone sent me an invite to this. The Million Woman March first occurred in 1997 by and for Black women, following the Million Man March in 1995 for Black men. I have already expressed in the group that I take issue with white feminists taking the name of something that Black people started to address our struggles. That’s appropriation. My understanding is that others have voiced this concern, but it has yet to be addressed. I will not even consider supporting this until the organizers are intersectional, original and come up with a different name.”

The “Million Women March” in 1997 was a response to feminists ignoring the concerns of people of color, making the use of the name especially cringeworthy.

Critics of calling the event the “Million Women March” were met with support from many other people interested in the event, and organizers changed the name to the “Women’s March on Washington.”

 

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Considering the history of white feminists not being inclusive—and sometimes being downright hostile—to people of color, the frustration is understandable. While the initial name was tone deaf to that history, the change demonstrates a willingness to listen and a step in the right direction.

Some critics still argue the new name of the event isn’t inclusive enough, as the focus is on women and not necessarily the many other identity groups Trump has attacked.

  • BodieF

    Please, aren’t people on the left into sharing ideas? Wasn’t there a 1 million mom’s march many years ago? This is how capitalism perverts one’s mind and you end up like the Susan B Komen Foundation who sends out cease and desist letters to charities using “for the cure” for their fundraising. I wish this march was not exclusively marketed for women but for all the various groups Trump slandered and mocked. It could be a million people marching against the Twitter King of lies and bullying or simply all people who believe in decency.

  • Aquifer

    Good grief …

  • Barbara Lyons

    Our individual concerns often overlap. Unless we can join with others whose identity intersects ours, but does not match it exactly, none of us have a chance against Trump’s 1%. I can join one rally/march because I am a Jew, another because I am a woman, another because I support equality for Palestinians, another because I wish to acknowledge my debt to the slaves that built this country, another because my family came here as immigrants and I want others to have that right as well, and another because I feel everyone should have the right to love who they please and to worship the way they please. This does not mean that I agree with every chant and every view expressed at each rally/march BUT together we are stronger and more effective that apart.

  • DHFabian

    Not everything is “all about black.” Degrees of skin pigmentation are not the beginning or the end, the alpha or the omega, of anything. In fact, most issues are unrelated to race/color.

    What matters the most to people at the proverbial end of the day is whether they have the means to keep their families together, housed and fed. We’re 20 years into one hell of a war on the poor. The US shipped out a huge number of jobs since the 1980s, ended actual welfare aid in the 1990s. We don’t have jobs for all, and we have NO mercy on those who are left behind. The overall life expectancy of the US poor has reportedly fallen to age 60-62 — something that would normally be considered a national crisis. Note that the majority of poor are white.

    When it comes to BLM!, we get it. For years, our middle class demanded, “Law and Order!” at any cost. Police were militarized, turning police departments into police forces. We’re watching the inevitable consequences. BLM!, and yet some become outraged when anyone points out that, as the data shows, the majority of victims of police violence have been white/poor. That outrage is a clear statement that to them, white lives don’t matter.