With the election of our current President, Donald J. Trump, many individuals felt extremely under-represented in our nation’s voice. This is because President Trump is an icon for the white, male majority. The problem with having someone like Trump as the leader of our nation means that this white male supremacy mentality is the actor in decisions our country makes both internally and externally. This includes decisions to limit women’s access to healthcare and creates a mindset where women are seen as not only inferior to men, but controlled by men as well. This sexist mindset is exemplified by President Trump by his behavior towards women his entire adult life including comments such as, “A person who’s flat-chested is very hard for them to be a 10” and that statement that Trump admitted to grabbing women “by the pussy.” These comments clearly represent a sexist mindset where women are seen as sex objects and Trump has created the stepping stone where others feel that it’s okay to express and act upon this offensive mindset as well.
But in a time of this despair, hope prevailed itself on January 20th. In Montana alone an estimated 10,000 individuals traveled to Helena to march for inclusiveness among minorities and for unity. The grass-roots events known as the Women’s March on Washington explicitly targeted Trump and his polarizing campaign promises where he advocated for a number of anti-choice policies that would negatively impact women nationwide. The enormous turnout was unexpected, and brought a sense of unity within the attendees. This unity is crucial for Americans to recognize the problem within many of Trump’s campaign promises and cabinet choices. The crowd at the Women’s March is the first step for Montanans to grasp the seriousness of our nation’s new misogynistic reality.
So, what now? Although the Women’s March inspires change and hope in more than 10,000 Montanans, simple protest is not going to facilitate change in our nation. That is why it is crucial to become the leader in your community, or even just among your friends and write letters to your representatives and senators. Hold Zinke and Daines accountable and voice to them that Montanans care about minority rights. There is a long battle ahead, and the Women’s March inspired the hope that Montanans need to fight that battle.