Christine de Pizan

Christine de Pizan
The Writer Christine de Pizan at Her Desk

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Back to the Future, Part 3: Women's Edition

The Women's March--Defending Roe v. Wade (22 January 1973)

Photo from Seattle's The Stranger,
announcing the Seattle Women's March,
21 January 2017

Today is the anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision--it took the Supreme Court to ensure that American women had some measure of control over their own bodies. But today women's reproductive freedom is under threat like never before in the more than forty years since 1973.

Yesterday, unprecedent numbers of feminists--women and men, who have always supported women's rights--marched in support of women's equality and rights. There were some 600 marches in cities and towns through the U. S., and over 40 in cities around the world. The largest event, drawing hundreds of thousands of women, was in Washington, D. C. (Evidently DJT's feelings are hurt that more people attended the march in D. C. than showed up at his inauguration. Sad.)

The more things change . . .

The first notable march on Washington undertaken by women--in support of suffrage--was in 1913, one day before the inauguration of Woodrow Wilson. 

And there was the Women's Strike for Equality on 26 August 1973--the biggest turnout may have been in New York, but over a thousand women marched in Washington D. C.. This nationwide strike was scheduled on the fiftieth anniversary of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment.

Just four years later, on 26 August 1977, there was the Alice Paul Memorial March--Alice Paul had proposed the Equal Rights Amendment in 1923, and it still hadn't been passed. This march was in support of the amendment's passage. A year later, on 9 July 1978, some 100,000 women demonstrated in Washington D. C., again in support of the Equal Rights Amendment--it was "the largest march for women’s rights in the nation’s history."

Numerous marches to support women's equality have followed, beginning in 1986. 

But, of course, the Equal Rights Amendment was never passed, and here we are. It is now 2017, and women's rights are still not guaranteed under the constitution. And reproductive rights--including those guaranteed under Roe--are threatened.

Yesterday's Women's March was held on the day after the "presidential inauguration"--and it neatly coincides with the anniversary of the Roe. v. Wade decision (decided 22 January 1973).

It's going to be a tough time for women in this period of "making America great again." Don't forget. Don't give up. Stay strong. 

For Parts 1 and 2 of Back to the Future, click here and here.

As for me--did I march yesterday??? Well, ummmm, earlier this month, I was outside pruning my wisteria and I fell off a ladder. I am now confined to the house, hobbling around on crutches. But when I fell, I was wearing this shirt:

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