This year’s Women’s March had everything going for it. An election year, the impeachment of a pro-life president and growing polarization over abortion should have served to energize the angry feminist minority. However, the March with the theme, “Women Rising,” might have been better themed “Numbers Falling.” Less than 10,000 showed up for the January 18 march around the White House. Similar results were reported at the event’s ever fewer “sister” marches in major cities.
While many marches appear to have gone unflagged on the map on the 2020 March’s official website, a total of 18 are. In any event, the real number of marches is far fewer than the 408 claimed by Wikipedia for 2017. Support for the unfocused movement is flagging everywhere.
The contrast could not be more striking. On the day after President Trump’s inauguration in 2017, a few hundred thousand gathered in the nation’s capital. Each successive year has seen the numbers fall. This year, not even the sympathetic media could inflate the numbers beyond the few thousand that were there. The program was disorganized, its chants disjointed and the enthusiasm missing.
The failure to get boots on the ground to the march happened because the women’s movement is in disarray. It cannot get its act together because three inherent problems are tearing it apart.
A Movement That Is Not Inclusive
The first problem is that the March is not about all women. The leadership cannot agree on what it means to be a woman. Its feminist roots automatically exclude huge numbers of women who disagree with it on key issues like procured abortion, same-sex “marriage,” transgenderism and family. The lack of inclusivity alienates many women who see it for what it is: a liberal group with an agenda.
At the same time, the March tries to unite clashing liberal causes. This has led to severe infighting. In 2018, the March leadership faced serious charges of anti-Semitism, especially because of pro-Islam members who attacked Jews and Israel. As a result, some civil rights groups and the Democratic National Committee withdrew support. Celebrities shied away. Distrust and policy disagreements led to the last year’s holding of two competing marches on the same day in New York City.
The infighting extended to the leadership that many say is disconnected from the grassroots. Three co-founding members, including Islamic member Linda Sarsour, stepped down. A new, more inclusive 16-member governing committee, including a woman rabbi, is now in place. While more politically correct, the new leadership has failed to re-energize the marchers.
Not About Women
A second problem with the March is that it has lost its focus. A liberal women’s march should deal with liberal women’s issues. The March leadership has expanded its message to include just about anything under the sun that resonates with liberal politics. It doesn’t have to include women. This unfocused message naturally chills passion.
This year’s march, for example, carried an anti-war theme as the marchers protested the killing of Iranian terrorist leader Gen. Qasem Soleimani on January 2. The 2020 March also embraced three major themes: abortion, immigration and climate change. The Chicago march added the census, climate justice and gun violence prevention to its “gallery of issues.”
The Women’s March was never about all women. It was always for the culture’s unbridled sexuality that oppresses women. However, the inclusion of other issues like climate change tends to dilute an already shallow platform.
A Negativistic Message
The final reason why the March organizers cannot deliver is that their message has become increasingly negativistic and even morbid. Revolutionary movements usually seek to present a bright future for their militants, should they triumph. The tone of the Women’s March is one of dark foreboding and despair.
One reason for the acrimony is that its leadership has turned what should be an issue-driven debate into a personal obsession against President Trump. Personal fights can be very exhausting. The President’s continued attacks on the feminist “gallery of issues” have led to what many call protest fatigue or even Trump fatigue.
The liberal grassroots are burning out, leading to “Numbers Falling” marches across the country. It is hard to speak of “Women Rising” when only a few show up.
The debacle naturally leads to the question of where are all the protesting women?
Major media will never report the answer. However, Washington’s January 24 March for Life will truly see “Women Rising.” Countless others will “Rise” in local and state Marches for Life. Millions of pro-life women, many of them young, are “Rising” to defend God’s Law and the authentic, if still unrecognized rights of America’s innocent unborn.