by G. Brown
Over the weekend, history was made. Not the inauguration of our 45th president who was elected despite losing the popular vote by three million votes,but the historic Women March on Washington by women who were opposed to the 45th president.
According to some mainstream media reports, about two-and-a half million from Washington D.C. all the way to Antarctica took part in the demonstration. Simultaneous marches were staged in more than 600 cities not only in the U.S. but around the globe. Their reason for demonstrating, to stand united against Trump who many of them see as a misogynistic racist who will only benefit the rich.
The women’s protest drew more support than Trump’s swearing in ceremony–a point the new president’s press team is dismissing as “fake news”, but the pictures tell the true story. Take a look at the pictures of the smattering of people gathered at the Washington mall for Trump’s swearing in as compared to the spill over from Obama’s swearing in.
The Women’s March on Washington is history repeating itself in a way. In 1913, President Woodrow Wilson saw his inauguration beat out by the crowds of people who flocked to a Woman Suffrage Parade instead. The fight to give women the right to vote estranged the Black community as Black women had to choose whether to fight for equality based on their skin color or their gender. While women like Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman and journalist Ida B. Wells-Barnett fought hard and successfully for the equality of women, the victory was one enjoyed by their White sisters. Even with the passage of the Fifteenth and Nineteenth Amendment,Blacks were still being denied the freedom to vote especially in many Southern States. The fight to exercise the freedom given them under the law would continue for another 40 years after the suffrage movement and beyond. Even in 2016, we still saw how Blacks are still being discriminated against at the polls. Voter suppression was an issue that confronted Blacks at the polls last year, not White women. So, it begs the question ‘are Black women and White women equal in their fight for equality?’
There are obvious male vs female inequalities like equal pay, media representation, occupational sex segregation, sexual violence and job discrimination, but even within these categories, Black still lag behind White women. Fact tank Pew Research released a study last year that shows while White men are more likely to earn more than women of any color, White women are still more likely to earn more than Black women. Blacks earn about 75% as much as Whites…women earned about 83% as much as men. When you break down that data even further, Pew Research found that White and Asian women are paid more on the job than Black and Hispanic women. The first group earns $17-18 dollars hourly while Black and Hispanic women are paid only $12-13 for the same job.
So when millions of women march for equality, are we talking about every woman earning the same pay as every man? Or are we fighting for an equality that is still very much unequal between White and Black women?
Was the Women March on Washington women speaking up and uniting to change things? Or was it buyers remorse since some polls say White women helped to elect Trump?