Historians Explain How The Women's March Builds On More Than 100 Years Of ResistanceBreaking News
tags: feminism, womens history, Womens March, Protest
On the heels of a midterm election in which record numbers of women were elected to Congress, the Women's March is slated to take place on Saturday for the third year in a row. Despite facing ramped-up criticism in recent months, historians tell Bustle that the Women's March has built a platform of inclusivity inspired by other feminist protests and marches in U.S. history — and that it showcases the fact that women will continue to show up for what they believe in, despite what challenges arise.
The Women's March was first organized in Washington, D.C. in 2017, with sister marches taking place both across the country and around the world. The Washington Post characterized the 2017 Women's March as possibly the largest single-day demonstration in recorded U.S. history, though historians tell Bustle that it follows a long tradition of feminist activism. Throughout American history, women have fought for suffrage, racial justice, stricter gun control laws, and more.
"Women’s protest and resistance has a very long history and takes many forms, from consciousness-raising groups in the 1970s to the abolitionist movement in the 19th century to community organizing to working-class protest," Barnard College history professor Premilla Nadasen tells Bustle. "Large-scale marches are just one example."
The Women's March — like many of the movements that came before it — is a people's march organized by those most affected by the issues it targets, as journalist and historian Janus Adams notes. Three past protests in particular opened up opportunities for movements like the Women's March to take place, according to Adams: the Woman Suffrage Parade of 1913, the Silent Parade of 1917, and the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
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