Feminism has seemingly been on the upswing in the past few years--at least in terms of visibility. With pop feminism permeating the music and television industries with everyone from Beyonce to Lena Dunham shouting about women’s issues, and feminists like Clementine Ford and Roxane Gay releasing books to wide acclaim, you might be fooled into believing women are getting somewhere. But in the wake of Trump’s America, women might very well find themselves under attack, as the global climate shifts towards one of disunity and intolerance.
It’s time for women in America and the world over to get angry. Whether white, black, Muslim, gay, straight, trans, able-bodied or not, there are a plethora of issues threatening women. All of these issues affect women from all walks of life, which is why, as feminists, we should be working towards adopting inclusive intersectional approaches to our politics. Losing the right to abortion, for instance, impacts us all. And for women in low socio-economic brackets, some of these threats could be even more devastating. 2017 is the year for us to rally. Here are five causes women should be shouting about--until we’re hoarse in the throat--in 2017.
Here are five causes women should be shouting about until we’re hoarse in the throat in 2017.
1. The Defunding Of Planned Parenthood
Planned Parenthood is responsible for the sexual and reproductive health of 2.5 million Americans--both men and women. It’s estimated that ONE-IN-FIVE women in America have visited Planned Parenthood at least once. Planned Parenthood is essential, especially when women are earning an average of 25% less than men, and women of color even less than that. Offering free consultations, check-ups, and birth control is no small thing in a country where insurance premiums and private doctor bills are wildly prohibitive, but the Republican party is hell-bent on defunding Planned Parenthood regardless. Just this week House Speaker Paul announced that the GOP will attempt to divest PP of ALL federal funding as they dismantle Obamacare.
In 2017, women (and male allies!) with the privilege of time on their hands should be attending protests in favor of Planned Parenthood. Those with the privilege of a disposable income should be furiously donating to keep PP funded. And every single woman should be fiercely advocating in whatever way she can to protect the right of all women to free and unfettered access to sexual and reproductive health services.
2. Donald Trump
Donald Trump, our President-Elect who has bragged about non-consensually “grabbing” a woman “by the p*ssy”, deserves your highest decibels. Engendering a culture of dangerous misogyny, President Trump is not only a sex offender, but he’s anti-abortion, anti-equality, and a disgusting sexist pig. The Telegraph even has a full list of every public comment Trump has ever made diminishing women.
There are currently in excess of 169,000 people of every gender planning to march against Trump’s inauguration in Washington, and the march itself has been dubbed the “Women’s March." Planned Parenthood and CodePink, along with many other women’s and equality organizations have partnered with the march, and if you’re available, it’s a great way to not only shout your lungs out, but to join a collective shout against government sanctioned oppression. But it’s not just a women’s march--Black Lives Matter, immigrant rights and LGBTQ rights are also high on protesters’ agendas and will be just as vocally advocated for.
3. Abortion Rights
Thanks to the impending Trump Presidency, there’s a movement in the right to repeal Roe v Wade, the landmark 1972 Supreme Court ruling that made abortion legal in the United States. If you thought that wasn’t possible with RBG presiding, think again: Trump will be choosing Justice Scalia’s replacement and any other judge who retires (or, touch wood, die) in the next four years. That means the next guard of lawmakers might actually be more old-guard than one would hope for in 2017.
Meanwhile, the states are going to great pains to chip away at abortion rights too, with Texas passing a law to require aborted fetuses be buried (at the cost of the woman aborting), while Ohio banned abortions after twenty weeks. With Planned Parenthood under threat, it seems that a woman’s right to choose is being co-opted by a conservative, cisgendered, white man’s right to choose for her.
4. Violence Against Women
In the Unites States alone, it’s estimated that women experience around 4.8 million intimate partner-related physical assaults, including rape, every year. Meanwhile, the current refugee crisis in Europe and the Middle East has created a glut for the sex trade and people trafficking industries, with at least 10,000 unaccompanied minors (refugee children without an adult with them who are underage) falling off the radar of governments and NGOs in the last year alone. That’s not to mention the general violence and rape inflicted on women both as acts of war and in inhospitable refugee camps around the world. Then there’s FGM, forced marriage, forced abortion, violence in the sex trade, brutality in the streets--global estimates suggest that one in three women have experienced physical or sexual violence. It’s an ongoing struggle, but one no less worthy of our defiant shouts in 2017.
5. LGBTQ Rights
The rights of the LGBTQ community are a women’s issue, because when we say “feminism” what we mean is “equality”. A feminist is someone who believes in equality between the sexes, and that includes every shade along the spectrum of gender and sexuality. On multiple occasions, Trump has made it clear that he's interested in repealing same-sex marriage laws. Meanwhile, North Carolina’s discriminatory anti-trans HB2 “bathroom bill” has emboldened other states, like Virginia, Texas and Kentucky to do the same. Unless we want to see an end to empathy, tolerance, acceptance and until, we need to stand together to rebel against the gross human rights violations--both threatened and in progress--that’s on our legislators’ agenda for 2017.