Staff editorial: The march should not end when we stop walking

The Women’s March saw its first anniversary in New Orleans this Saturday, with many of the same themes running the show as the prior year – pink pussy hats, cleverly written signs and countless Instagrams and hashtags to document it all.

A year after the Women’s March launched in cities across the country and around the world, we should start to ask ourselves — is doing more of the same enough?

Over the past year, we have seen a remarkable rise of women. In response to the election of Donald Trump to the presidency and the outpouring of women from Hollywood to the Olympics, we have seen the rise of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, the rise of black female voters and the rise of female politicians all over the United States, with more women than ever running for office in the 2018 midterm elections.

Despite all this progress, the tone of the Women’s March seems to have stagnated, lacking key intersectionality and action which would show that the march and all it stands for have grown as the nation has.

If 2018 is to truly be the Year of Women, we as women and allies must continue to progress. The focus can no longer be on pink pussy hats which alienate members of the feminist movement, cleverly-written signs which do little to truly further conversation or Instagram photos which will likely have no tangible impact on the political landscape.

While the Women’s March has played an important role in the feminist movement and in history, we need to make sure that the march doesn’t end when we all stop walking. Progress can not be limited to a single day, speech or post. To ensure that 2018 is different, we must take further steps.

As college students, we are well-positioned to take concrete steps toward ensuring that 2018 is the Year of Women. We have the chance to engage in productive conversation, both in and outside of the classroom. As members of institutions and organizations that have the potential to both perpetuate harmful tropes and to promote meaningful change, we should hold those entities accountable.

As members of a campus community we can identify and speak out against sexual harassment when we see it. We can work on the campaigns of women running for office all across the country and reach out to our peers to fight political apathy in our own age demographic. We can engage in activism that is inclusive and actionable, and we can demand more of our institutions, our peers and ourselves.

The dialogue that began at the Women’s March is critical to our time. But to continue the progress that we began, we must continue to work everyday to help sustain a movement that will exist when the hats come off and the signs come down. With intersectionality and intentionality, we can be the leaders that take this important movement beyond the march and even beyond the Year of Women, and into meaningful, lasting change.

Staff Editorials are written weekly by members of the Tulane Hullabaloo Board and approved by the full Board by a 2/3 majority vote.

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