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Was the Women’s March as inclusive as it could’ve been?
Many intersectional feminists are answering no – and pointing out how that day of protests could’ve been better.
If you’re feeling defensive about that idea, you’re not the only one. But chances are, your defensiveness won’t teach you anything – so instead, check out these important lessons on making sure your marching makes a difference.
With Love, The Editors at Everyday Feminism
Click for the Transcript
(A long line of protesters, holding signs with various slogans)
Narrative Box: Like many people, I participated in the Women’s March in January. It was an amazing event, and it made me laugh and cry to be a part of something so big.
(A phone that shows a website with various newsbites, like “Women’s March exclusive to non-binary community,” “Sisters, not cis-ters,” and “Crowd support missing from Black Live’s Matter Movement.”)
Narrative Box: But the next day, I logged onto social media only to be slammed with critiques about the march.
(Lone text box)
Narrative Box: And I’ll be honest, I was upset.
(Thought bubble inside the panel with the word thought at the top)
Narrative Box: But I was there. I marched. How can you march wrong?
(Lone text box)
Narrative Box: I was upset that I was being called out for things I did just for participating in the march.
(Following text is surrounded by stars)
Narrative Box: But an important part of being an ally/a person is to figure out why you’re angry instead of acting on it. And the fact was, I was angry because they were right.
(One figure is shaking the hand of another figure, and both figures are grimacing. One figure is wearing a “Bernie 2016” button, and the other is wearing a “Trump 2016” one.)
Narrative Box: I knew people who fully believed in Trump and didn’t challenge them.
(A crowd of figures holding Black Lives Matter signs with an empty silhouette in the middle)
Narrative Box: I hadn’t participated in a Black Lives Matter March.
(Picture of the Degenderettes holding baseball bats and marching)
Narrative Box: And I didn’t take part in a trans color guard that I’d been invited to.
(Text enclosed by two calendars on either side)
Narrative Box: My excuse was that I was too busy, but being busy is a horrible excuse that I’ve never liked. Everyone is busy.
(Close up of March –a comic book written by John Lewis and illustrated by Nate Powell)
Narrative Box: I recently read John Lewis’ comic book March and was awed by how much planning went into every aspect of the Civil Rights Movement.
Marchers worked weeks before marching, solidifying essays sent to statesmen, detailing what they stood for, and working on means of peaceful protests.
(Three cards are superimposed on the comic page, the first with excerpts from John Lewis’s Do’s and Dont’s of marching; the second with excerpts from the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee statement of purpose; and the third with excerpts from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference state of purpose. These are the statements of purpose that held during the Civil Rights Movement.)
(Text bordered by angry picket signs)
And while there were a bunch of reasons why women showed up at the march, being angry and in attendance was the main factor, rather than marching with a purpose in order to produce results.
(The following panels show another line of protesters, holding up three different signs, in which the last three sentences are put on the protest signs)
Narrative Box: In the current political climate, more protests are bound to happen. In the future, I promise to:
Sign 1: Know/have specific objectives in mind when I’m protesting.
Sign 2: Attend protests that are inclusive to all.
Sign 3: March for communities outside of my own.
(The following panels show a person with anger and a person writing on a poster)
Narrative Box: I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be angry. We should be. But having anger means knowing how to use it.
Meggie Ramm is a Contributing Comic Artist for Everyday Feminism. She is a cartoonist whose work primarily features stick figures. She currently resides in Oakland, where she teaches comics, reads comics, and makes comics. Check out her comics here.