Women across the country—and fashion industry—are coming together in protest. In the wake of a particularly contentious election cycle where female-focused issues like equal pay, sexual assault, access to healthcare, women in the workplace and reproductive rights have taken centerstage, women across the country plan to take to the streets in protest.
The Women’s March on Washington is slated to be the highest visibility effort to raise awareness for women’s rights when it converges at the nation’s capital the day after the January 20th inauguration. And with hundreds of thousands of people showing the event love on social media, naturally, people are talking about it. Here’s what you need to know about the Women’s March on Washington on January 21st, 2017.
1. The march is a mission to make women’s rights human rights.
According to a statement posted on the official Facebook event page by the march’s organizers, the protest is about standing together in solidarity with groups that have been demonized in the past election. “The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights,” the founders stated. “We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.”
2. It isn’t just about women. Men are definitely invited.
Though there was some confusion—and some ensuing Internet commentary about men who claimed to not realize something could apply to them if their gender wasn’t in the title—let the record show: Men are more than welcome, Saturday and any day, to take a stand for intersectional feminism.
3. It’s a grassroots demonstration of the power of social media.
It’s no secret that social media played a huge role in this election—President-elect Donald J. Trump loves himself a Tweet—and online platforms like Facebook were fertile ground for both informed and uninformed debates, whether you wanted that in your daily feed or not. Fittingly, the Women’s March on Washington was also born from social media. What began as a grassroots Facebook page for frustrated voters has blossomed into a full-on movement with an official website where you can register to march or get involved. The movement has also inspired dozens of state chapters where local groups are coming together to organize mass transportation to Washington D.C. Like any serious cause or great meme generator, the Women’s March also has an official Twitter handle, @womensmarch.
4. Protesters have already been banned from the most important spot.
Every march needs a meeting place and a pre-determined route, which has been a little tricky to plan for a demonstration of this expected size, which according to some reports, is in the hundreds of thousands. The Women’s March website says the demonstration will start at Independence Avenue and Third Street SW. But the most visible spot in Washington D.C.—that is, the National Mall, Pennsylvania Avenue, the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial—will be blocked to protesters. Typically, the National Park Service grants first amendment permits to protesters wanting to use the iconic areas, but this year, according to the Guardian, the Park Service is blocking all protesters on behalf of the Presidential Inauguration Committee.
Despite the setback, the organizers are undeterred. “The planning process will be ongoing until days before the march, and we will continue to work closely with the National Park Service, Metropolitan Police Department, Homeland Security, Capitol Police, and other agencies to ensure a safe march with all logistics in place to accommodate the number of people we anticipate convening,” organizers said in a statement on the march’s official site.
More of our coverage on politics and fashion:
- Michelle Obama’s Go-to Designer Is Refusing to Dress Melania Trump
- Tommy Hilfiger Talks About Dressing Melania and Ivanka Trump
- Tom Ford on Why He Wouldn’t Dress Melania Trump—And Hillary Clinton
5. It’s not just a symbolic gesture.
The official Unity Principles driving the Women’s March are ending violence, preserving and expanding reproductive freedoms, and heightening awareness for LGBTQIA rights, workers’ rights, civil rights, freedom of speech, protections for all citizens regardless of race, gender, age or disability—and a call for a federal adoption of an Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. constitution)—disability rights, immigrant rights (and a denouncement of the word “illegal”), and environmental justice. Got all that? You can download a pdf reminder here.
6. It will be celeb-studded.
America Ferrera is chairing the Women’s March’s Artist’s Table, and fellow A-Listers like Amy Schumer, Julianne Moore, Katy Perry, Cher, Scarlett Johansson and Frances McDormand are all serving as co-chairs. Also participating—and announcing their participation through the Twitter hashtag #WhyIMarch—are talents like Uzo Aduba, Danielle Brooks, Diane Guerrero, Padma Lakshmi, Olivia Wilde, Constance Wu, Patricia Arquette, Debra Messing and our January cover girl, Zendaya.
7. Heavy-hitter non-profit and activist groups are on board, too.
From the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to Planned Parenthood, Oxfam to the Sierra Club, and Amnesty International, a massive grouping of partner organizations are teaming up to officially sponsor the Women’s March.
8. The fashion industry is also getting in on the action.
The fashion industry got super-political this year, whether it was through statements made during NYFW shows, celebs and influencers using clothes to campaign for their candidate or designers directly raising objections to dressing the future first family. Considering the industry’s politically charged climate, it’s no surprise that some designers are pledging to raise money in support of the march. According to WWD, designers like Mara Hoffman, Clare Vivier, and Ulla Johnson, among others, are donating proceeds to Give Justice, the organization behind the event.
9. There’s going to be an amazing concert on Thursday night if you want to make a long weekend of it.
Common and the National are co-headlining a benefit concert for Planned Parenthood on Thursday night, January 19th. (Securing performer’s for the actual inauguration has been controversial, to say the least.)
10. You can download some rad signage to carry.
After receiving over 5,000 submissions, a panel of judges selected eight designs to serve as the event’s official poster art, all created by women- and non-binary-identifying individuals from all across the U.S. And while 30,000 free posters and large-scale banners with the images will be available on the day of the march, you can also download five of the images if you want to BYO, totally free.
Jessica Sabogal, “Women Are Perfect”
11. There’s more information where you least expect it.
Like, say, for instance, from actress Rosie Perez.
Now, check out the beauty routine of Amanda Renteria, political director of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign: