The Women’s March held just a few weeks ago sparked attention across the world, bringing the issue of women’s rights and healthcare to the front pages of America. Finally the door was open to discuss feminism in a candid way…. or so that’s what we thought. While The Women’s March garnered national and international support, there was controversy surrounding the issue of intersectional feminism and the overwhelming number of white women who actually supported Donald Trump. What brand of feminism was really being addressed here?
We all had our own ideas, but we wanted to hear thoughts from a Women’s March Youth ambassador, who was hand picked to participate in this movement by the organization. Meet Aubrayia Dowdy, an 18 year old Pittsburgh native, that had a few things to say about the future of feminism in America.
How did you become an ambassador for the Women’s March?
I first heard about the march through one of my teachers. She asked me if I would like to come to the march with her and then she submitted a reference letter to the head organizers of the march. They got back to us about a couple days later and told us that I was chosen for the ambassador role.
What was that day like for you?
The day itself was inspiring. I was so happy to be in the presence of such awesome black women and women of color.
Did the experience change your aspects on feminism at all?
Some black feminists were hesitant to support the march due to issues with white feminism, and the role of white women in the election of Donald Trump. How do you feel about this?
To be honest with you, I was kind of in the same boat. I was only there because I was chosen to be there and I wanted to represent the young, black, and queer women that couldn’t and did not want to be there; otherwise I wouldn’t have went.
The whole march seemed very exclusionary and there was so much mention of white suffragettes, such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton; women who deliberately excluded black women from the feminist movement, when it was us who created the movement all along and it was mostly centered around genitalia which is exclusionary to many trans girls, women and femmes out there. I felt that cis white women were running away from the role they played in the election and they didn’t want to hold themselves accountable.
What advice do you have for young feminists of color moving forward under Trump’s presidency?
The advice I would give to young black feminists out there would be to stay black and continue to rise up. Sit in on town hall meetings, get to know the roles of your local registrators. Keep loving yourselves and other black women, femmes and girls radically and hold space for them as much as you can.