Women’s March Protest Takes Over Denver

Photo: Sarai Nissan

Photo: Sarai Nissan

WORLDWIDE RALLIES AGAINST TRUMP RESIDENCY 

The feminist community of Denver organized to march on Jan. 21 from Denver’s Civic Center Park to protest the election of President Donald Trump as a part of the global Women’s March movement. With an estimated attendance of over 200,000 in Denver alone, the massive movement seeks to protect the civil rights granted to women and other minorities.

The concept of this march began floating around social media almost immediately after President Trump’s victory was confirmed. The mission was started through the private pro-Hillary Facebook page, “Pantsuit Nation.” After going viral, the march on Washington had inspired over 600 other marches in the US and around the world.

CU Denver professors Sarah Tyson and Gillian Silverman were both invited to speak at the march. Both professors teach courses in Women and Gender Studies; Tyson teaches philosophy with a concentration in  feminist philosophy and Silverman teaches American literature and culture.

The Women’s March mission statement states that with these marches they will stand together to tell the nation and administration that their voices will not be stifled. “Last semester we taught US Contemporary Feminist Thought—Sarah taught articles on theories of feminism and I taught feminist novels,” Silverman said. “The course was so challenging and fun for us that we didn’t want it to end. When the opportunity arose to speak at the Women’s March in Denver because the organizers are former CU Denver students we jumped at the chance to give a speech together.”

Silverman and Tyson’s speech is entitled “Leaning In Is Not Enough.” The speech is a response to those who defend President Trump as pro-woman by pointing out the number of female executives in his company. “Women fighting for positions of power is a limited notion of feminism,” Tyson and Silverman said. “Instead we embrace bell hooks’ declaration that feminism is the struggle to end sexist oppression.”

The Women’s March mission expresses their demand to protect the diverse and unique community not only in Colorado but throughout US, to resist any legal restrictions or oppression on personal freedoms and rights, to curb divisive hate and racist actions, and that all people regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion, age, or sexual orientation will be treated with respect and deserve justice.

“Going to the march is one way to combat sexist oppression, but there are many people in many organizations that have been fighting this fight for a long time,” Silverman and Tyson said. “Those who want to make a difference can think about contributing their time, energy, money, and skills to organizations within their community. In future weeks we need to pay attention to Cabinet confirmation hearings, Supreme Court nominations, climate change policies, health care overhaul, and many other pressing matters. We also need to remember that change is made most readily at the local level, so start talking to your neighbors about the issues you care about.”

People against the concept of the march have called the protests immature or useless, but Silverman and Tyson disagree. “Marches like these are important because they energize and people help build solidarity around feminist issues,” Silverman said. “This seems especially important given recent events such as the Stanford rape case, the ‘bathroom bill’ in North Carolina, and some sexist comments made during the presidential election. These marches also allow people to become politically involved, to fight for what they value, and to discover new language to articulate their experiences.”

By bringing this community in Denver together both online and in person, the march provided an outlet and support for those who want to advocate, those who are marginalized, and those who wish to connect with likeminded individuals, model peaceful demonstration for the youth of today, and to honor the men and women who have fought for this generation’s rights.

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