It was inevitable that an upset would momentarily take the spotlight off the power of the Women's March and place it on the archaic belief that feminists are just mean girls. The organizers of this great Women's March, that takes place the day after the inauguration of our first Russian President, originally included some anti-Trump groups who are, interestingly, anti-abortion. They were included as partners in the March, but almost as soon as they were included they were ousted when the information became public.
A mini drama unfolded and then a hashtag trended on twitter that was lauded by deplorables ( a word Hillary Clinton used to describe the white nationalist element of the Trump base) because it gave the Trumpers an opportunity to denigrate the Women's March. Purity is the enemy of forward progress.
I've done my share of pro-choice marching since 1980 and I have written the letters, donated the money and basically been on the pro-choice front lines for decades, but in my opinion the ousting of one particular anti-abortion group, "New Wave Feminists," was a mistake. (They refer to themselves as pro-life, but if I use that I'll be chastised, too.)
They were given the old heave-ho after a selective feminist media frenzy attacked the March organizers for partnering with these anti-abortion groups. "New Wave Feminists" were an official partner for almost a week and then they were not.
This morning I spoke with the head of "New Wave Feminists," Destiny Herndon-de la Rosa, and she stated that her group is not, in fact, conservative. She added that has always been an "anti-Trumper" and a political "independent." She said her group does not advocate overturning Roe vs. Wade, "We are only making criminals out of women if we try to overturn Roe."
Destiny commented on the GOP when she brought up, what she called a "Phyllis Schlafly position "that abortion should be a partisan issue." She described that sentiment as the most "detrimental thing we ever did." It is her belief that this paved a strong path to a "Trump administration." That seems like a big leap, yet I agree.
All Trump had to utter were a few choice anti-abortion lines such as "I am pro-life" and that he believed there had to be "punishment" for women who got abortions in order to get anti-choicers to vote for him. (That authoritarian streak gets him a lot of mileage.) Trump was never outspokenly anti-choice, in fact it is common knowledge that he is pro-choice.
His words and this hyper-partisan atmosphere about women's body parts helped oust our first female President who is unequivocally pro-choice.
The GOP holds great power over the issue of abortion and that is a feminist issue.
If we are to continue to be seen as parts (pussy grabbing) and not whole women, we will stay on this narrow road to political equality.
This is where we are now in the United States, a dangerously partisan environment where everyone takes extreme sides. Running on a parallel track is the growing realization that women are having a difficult time reaching for political equality, especially in the White House, where we have a zero rating.
Hillary understood the need for common ground. She always worked across the partisan divide to get things done. As FLOTUS she worked tirelessly for children and in the 1990s, with Congressman Tom Delay, she was instrumental in spearheading and passing the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997. Tom Delay was anti-choice. (In 2003 Delay had a zero rating from NARAL.)
Finding common ground, where we can, moves women and children forward.
-Jennifer Hall Lee