lacked focus

One week ago, I attended the Women’s March in Augusta, and I appreciated reading your coverage of the event (“About 2,500 march for women’s rights in Augusta,” Jan. 20). I also want to preface this letter by clarifying in advance that I appreciated the important work done by the march organizers and by the speakers.

However, I was frustrated at the lack of focus I felt in the march’s speeches. The selected speakers represented diverse experiences of womanhood, a choice which I entirely support. But the subject matter of the various speeches, while often touching on important civil rights issues that I have also turned out to march for, like the precarious legal status of the Dreamers, did not coalesce around any specific policy objectives to advance women’s rights — which, hypothetically, is what we were marching for.

I don’t at all believe that embracing the intersectionality of women’s experiences has to come at the cost of a cohesive agenda for women’s rights. Women of all backgrounds are affected by the pay gap, by sexual harassment and the fear of sexual violence, and by poor maternity leave policies and inflexible work schedules that force mothers to make difficult choices between work life and home life. Women who live with an additional degree of marginalization, such as women of color, often experience these problems more intensely. A women’s march should put forth specific policy objectives that address these problems. If women cannot expect to find this focus on women’s issues at a Women’s March, then I don’t where we can.

Unfortunately, that’s not what I saw last week in Augusta. What I did see was a man brandishing a large sign saying “It’s Mueller Time” — which, while I found entertaining, was a celebration of a man, rather than a show of support for women’s rights.

Danielle Haas Freeman

Brunswick