Brigid Meney and Hannah Eves
Watching the women’s marches around the globe, manifesting themselves around Washington DC on the day of the US Presidential Inauguration, one can be forgiven for expressing confusion as to the purpose of these well-publicised and well-executed events.
Was it to defend the vulnerable women, fighting against the rise of genital mutilation in western countries? If it was, there was no mention of this. Was it to stand in solidarity and argue for the protection of child brides, forced into marriages with men several decades their senior?
It would appear not.
In reality, as informed, educated women, we had no concept of what these recent marches aimed to achieve. This is especially concerning given our engagement and interest in issues pertinent to women- so god help the mainstream, who probably have significantly less interest.
Traditionally there is a lot to be credited to the feminist movement – the suffragette fight for the vote is but one example of how the feminist movement revolutionised the experiences of all women in the western world.
Their sacrifices were grave but the outcomes were real. We are reminded every polling day when we cast or vote of the women who lost their reputations and even their lives so that our voices could be heard.
The past shows that these movements and protests can work – they achieve positive outcomes and can change the course of history. But the marches of late reveal that the feminist movement has become an empty vessel, void of substance and replaced with nothing but an agonising moral superiority.
So – what were they marching for recently?
Taken directly from their very expensive looking website – the Women’s March on Washington has a vision of “strengthening communities…. and moving forward in a state of national and international concern and fear” Utilising some common sense here, we can ascertain that it is no coincidence that these marches were held on the same day as President Trump’s Inauguration. The website even talks an awful lot about the future of the “next four years”.
It makes it stunningly obvious that this newfangled and out of touch women’s movement has less to do with protecting vulnerable women or advocating on behalf of all, and more to do with, rather ironically, propping up as a victim one of the most privileged white women in the world, Hilary Clinton. It is difficult to ignore the fact that there is very little substance on the Women’s March website. It heavily relies on emotive language and some outcome called a “huddle” (don’t worry, we aren’t sure what this is either) and the only goal they speak with any assurance about is one in “four years’ time”. Unless they’re referring to the 2021 Women’s World Handball championships in Spain, one can only assume they are referring to the next US election date. The elephant in the room here is, of course, the 42 per cent of voting women in America who cast a ballot in favour of Donald Trump.
The growing irrelevancy of the current feminist movement is seen through this loss of such a large base of female voters to someone as tacky and vulgar as Trump.
But this is a self-inflicted wound.
What was once a broad sisterhood is now just an elite group and there are numerous examples of these exclusionary tendencies.
Only last week, instead of celebrating the promotion of hardworking women to the Ministry, these selective feminists were the first to condemn the newly appointed NSW Mental Health Minister for daring to have a “personal opinion” on a matter relating to women. Also recently, instead of using her public platform to raise awareness of rising instances of genital mutilation or other more (abridged).