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#MeToo Movement – Much more than Pink Pussyhats
Photos: Nicole RajaniThe January Women’s March was invigorating, but was it any more than that? Those of us who diligently made our signs, bought our pink hats, and took over city streets in 2017 were hoping for a radical change and a reckoning.
One year later, where are we?
We hear that we are at an inflection point, and sometimes it feels that we are. A year after the first female candidate to be nominated for president by a major U.S. political party—and one of the most qualified ever—lost, women are not retreating and seem to have found their voices. In many different fields, women are unabashedly speaking out about what they’ve faced and what they seek to change. We’ve seen the rise of the #MeToo movement, and there finally seems to be some accountability for those who have blatantly abused their power for so long. We’ve seen men in the highest echelons of many industries fall—all in a matter of months.
So in some ways, words have been turned into action. #MeToomay be becoming an actual movement and not just a catchy hashtag.
But of course the man at the highest level seems to be impervious. While we continue to fight for justice, we should put our efforts into changing policies and practices that perpetuate discrimination, harassment, and violence. And we need more women in office; the ballooning number of women candidates in local elections is encouraging. The mid-terms later this year will be the first test of any real political change. No matter what, we have a long way to go.Last year’s worldwide women’s marches were focused on women’s and human rights, the environment, and all that was at risk because of the new U.S. President. This year, the focus was the same, and I saw many of the same messages on signs because in many ways, we’re living in the same reality we were a year ago.
There were also many signs with new and equally poignant messages. The current resident of the White House has said so many more egregious and horrid things that there is an abundance of material to choose from.
Just as our wit hasn’t died, neither has our spirit. If nothing else, these marches help keep our energy up. They are far from perfect, they haven’t been as inclusive as they should be. But they remind us that we are stronger together and that our numbers are growing.
Online and in person, women are mobilizing and we just might be on the precipice of something big.
(Nicole Rajani has more than 17 years of varied experience in communications and public relations for international nonprofit organizations and is a freelance writer. She has a Masters in Media from the University of London and a Bachelors in English from Vassar College.)