Media Blackout on Women’s Marches, and #PowertothePolls

Some interesting pieces have been written about this year’s global Women’s Marches, but none beats the Washington Post story by Helaine Olen, which posits that the media has largely ignored this major political event, despite its indication of massive social upheaval happening right under our noses.

While estimates of the size of Los Angeles’s march ranged from 500,000 to 600,000, and Las Vegas hosted the launch of a national voter registration campaign called #Powertothepolls, the political talk shows on Sunday morning barely made mention of the uprising in the streets.

power to the polls
Providence Women’s March, 2018. (Photo credit: Ellen Taylor)
Providence Women’s March, 2018. (Photo credit: Ellen Taylor)

Matt McDermott, Director of Whitman Insight Strategies, calls the Women’s March and other activities of the Resistance, “the most underestimated, unappreciated, and underreported political movement in modern American history.”

I tend to agree with McDermott. The Resistance will definitely not be televised, tweeted, or shared on Facebook nearly to the degree that reflects its value and power. And maybe it’s better that way. We will see the reality of the Resistance’s influence in the upcoming elections, and until then, perhaps it is better for the movement to be underestimated. Stay tuned here at Philanthropy Women where Allison Fine will soon be providing a closer look at some of the action happening in progressive philanthropy to bring #Powertothepolls.

The Women’s March in Providence, RI, January 20, 2018.

Here in Providence, where I attended the Women’s March on the State House lawn, attendance seemed about the same as last year, maybe a little smaller. The speakers and presentations were much better organized this year, and the message was crystal clear: progressive America is forming new alliances, and the elections will be the place to look for results.

More from Helaine Olen:

We saw that impact in the November 2017 elections, in which a surge of female support led to huge Democratic gains in Virginia. We also saw it in Alabama, where it was African American woman who helped Democrat Doug Jones win election to the Senate instead of Republican Roy Moore.

There is no question that all this energy matters and will almost certainly continue to matter. A Post/ABC News poll released Monday morning found that the Democrats have a “large early advantage” in this year’s congressional elections, thanks in part to “strong support from women,” with “a 57 percent to 31 percent advantage among female voters.”

In the meantime, it looks as though a deal was reached to end the government shutdown, the dispute that has received so much media attention over the past few days. As for the female-led resistance to Trump, it continues.


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Author: Kiersten Marek

Kiersten Marek, LICSW, is the founder of Philanthropy Women. She practices clinical social work and writes about how women donors and their allies are advancing social change.

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