In recent years, organizing efforts by women and their male allies has fostered a new wave of women’s rights activity. Sporting pink “pussy” hats and peacefully demanding civil rights and equality for women, immigrants, and people of color, hundreds of thousands gathered from all over New York State (with almost half a million in New York City alone), and joined with millions of activists throughout the United States and world-wide in one of the largest peaceful demonstrations in political history on January 21, 2017.
The grassroots movement emerged out of the single Facebook post calling for a Women’s March, and continues to grow and solidify. As women prepare to run for office in record numbers, we may witness a dramatic shift in not just the numbers but the tone in which government conducts business. In many ways, the current women’s movement echoes the early women’s rights movement from the 19th century, with its vision of bringing together a coalition working for equality while struggling to rid itself internally of race, class, and gender bias. There are differences as well, as the diversity of this coalition of activists is beyond anything New York or the country has yet witnessed. Women and men of all ages, Native Americans and undocumented immigrants; people of color and Euro-Americans; economically privileged and economically marginalized; and all genders and sexual orientations are supporting each others’ causes in a movement that they hope will move the state and the country on a path of equality and justice for all.