Thousands of women congregated at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC for the second annual “Women’s March on Washington,” just one day following the March for Life. The crowds may have both been predominantly women, but the two marches could not have been more different.
While everything from the partisan views of the speakers to the tone of the rallies contrasted the other, the most marked difference their talking points. The Women’s March peddled multiple false premises that ultimately the harm the very people and causes they’re trying to promote.
For Liberal Women Only
One of the main themes at the marches around the country was that more women should be involved in politics. The Las Vegas women’s march specifically advertised a new initiative called “Power to the Polls” to get more women to vote and run for office.
They’re targeting women because women are more likely than men to vote for Democrats. According to Pew Research Center, “[W]omen have been consistently more likely than men to identify as a Democrat or lean toward the Democratic Party. Over the first half of 2016, 54% of women identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party, compared with 42% of men.” The women’s march is blatantly politically divisive despite attempting to portray a front of uniting all women. Mobilization of Democrat votes is far more important to them than promoting women as women.
The partisan views of the attendees were entrenched so deep, when I identified myself as a writer for The Federalist, no one was willing to talk to me about their participation in the march. When I identified myself as a writer for another, far less politically conservative, publication where I also write, women’s marchers were willing to speak.
The march’s obvious implication—even directive at times—is that more women should get involved in political office but only if they’re Democrats. How do we know this? President Trump’s administration has the first woman press secretary in more than a decade and the most women in high-ranking cabinet positions in history, yet women’s marchers adamantly oppose his administration and refuse to celebrate these women’s accomplishments.
Yet, ironically, Democrats typically push for policies that end up hurting women. Tennessee state Rep. Sherry Jones and state Sen. Sara Kyle pushed a bill to reduce taxes on tampons, in an obvious bid at pandering to women through saving them a couple of bucks a year. Further, the measure was a false advertisement and all-around bad fiscal policy.
Hillary Clinton championed things like forcing employers to pay for women to not work after they give birth to babies, giving government preferences to non-family child-care options, and a federally mandated minimum wage increase, all of which would particularly hurt female workers, because they would raise taxes, reduce women’s choices, and strangle diversity of options.
If the so-called women’s marches truly aimed at helping women, they would support women of all ideological backgrounds getting involved in public life and assume a bipartisan approach to policy issues women face like child care, health care, taxes, and employer mandates. Or they would simply recognize that there are as many political viewpoints as there are women and stop pressuring women by implying they are not fully women, or not “good women,” if they don’t vote the way some other women do.
Not Keen on Women’s Unique Capacity for Motherhood
Many speakers at the Women’s March attacked women who embrace a role they are increasingly choosing in the United States: Motherhood. In the United States, 34 percent of women ages 18-64 have young children in the home. That number is on the rise. Clearly family is an integral part of American life and for many women a vital part of womanhood. Yet women’s marchers were not only skeptical about this positive, life-affirming, and creative choice, they were openly hostile to the idea of motherhood and fertility.
The women’s march has made its support for abortion clear from the beginning by refusing to support pro-life women who wanted to attend. They also gave platforms to speakers from the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, including the CEO herself, Cecile Richards. Yet Planned Parenthood actively wars on motherhood and women’s reproductive power by aborting more than 300,000 babies per year.
I spoke to several women at the March for Life this year who said when they had abortions themselves, or worked in abortion facilities, they saw very little support offered to the women in crisis and zero follow-up aid. Discouraging motherhood, via promoting abortion and treating women’s reproductive power as something evil to repress through chemicals and public advocacy campaigns, is hardly courageous or moral. Abortion is simply the easy and cruel way out of a difficult situation.
If the women’s march wants to continue to be effective, they may want to consider elevating the language of the debate, to ensure accuracy and be persuasive. While promoting causes women care about is certainly a salient and worthwhile venture, it loses significant credibility when many of the speeches, attendees, and ideas actually harm the women they claim to want to help.