On the 21 January, the day after Donald Trump is sworn in as president, women across the world will be staging marches. The original march is to be held in Washington DC, with partners from PEN America, Planned Parenthood and Amnesty International to Lady Parts Justice and Pussy Hat Project. There are sister marches planned all over Europe and in Canada, New Zealand and Mexico.
"Our communities are hurting and scared," states the Women's March on Washington website. "The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonised, and threatened many of us." The website even suggests that Trump is a "force of evil". For a president who isn't even in office yet, it seems that Trump has upset a lot of women.
So what are the aims of these women's marches? It's not clear. "Women's March on Washington will send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world, that women's rights are human rights," says the website. But what does this mean? Will this be a pro-abortion rights march? A march for greater access to contraception? Or is it simply a march against Trump? A we-don't-like-you march?
The website claims the march will be held "in the spirit of democracy," but the march itself will in fact be against a democratically-elected president. A protest is one thing, but with no tangible aims, this sounds more like a group whinge than a demand for change. "We will not rest until women have parity and equity at all levels of leadership in society," which translates: "We don't want Trump and we won't rest until we get Trump out."
I'm no fan of Trump, and the Republican's stance on abortion rights should worry all those who believe in women's freedom and bodily autonomy. But this aimless display will do nothing to further an argument for women's freedom. By couching this action in the therapeutic terms it uses, such as: "the beloved community is the framework for the future" and "avoid internal violence of the spirit," the march invites ridicule. It sounds more like a therapy session than a serious political protest.
The sister march in London states that "the politics of fear and division have no place in 2017" and is partnered with a pro-Remain group, the Women's Equality Party and Unite, the union. Unite's statement regarding the march said: "It's time for progressive forces to unite against the bigoted and racist agenda that is now openly expressed in our society." It continued: "Trump, and what he stands for, is not the world that the people want to live in. Progressive people are the majority and we will be heard."
All this march does is send a message to Trump supporters that, yet again, they're wrong, stupid and evil.
Does no one remember the result of the election? Trump won, and, like it or not, he won fair and square, according to the US system. The organisers of the Women's March claim that they're "not targeting Trump specifically. It's much more about being proactive about women's rights." But, with its emotional rhetoric, it's hard to see this march as anything but simply anti-Trump.
The outpouring of despair from liberals and feminists following Trump's victory quickly turned into a public display of hatred for Trump voters. Much like Brexit voters in the UK, Trump supporters were called bigoted, ignorant, evil and hate-filled. Rather than challenge a political moment, and argue for an alternative, this march continues in that snide vein of simply signalling disgust at Trump.
There are freedoms that need to be won for women. In the US, particularly, access to abortion services is dire. The Republican party now has a majority in the house, and the senate, and this should worry women much more than the blustering pomp of Trump. The Polish protests for abortion rights last year were inspiring, and women across the world marched in solidarity for Polish women's rights. But this Women's March is nothing like that. It is yet another display of the pointlessness of modern feminism. This is an empty, non-committal action that seeks to make people feel good, rather than enact change. All this march does is send a message to Trump supporters that, yet again, they're wrong, stupid and evil.
It's no good posturing against a politics that you don't agree with − you have to argue your way to winning people over to your point of view. These Women's Marches are a closed shop, they seek to speak to people who are already on side − liberal, middle-class feminists who think Trump is an evil force in the world. It has no desire to make demands on society for what women need. Instead, it's content with showing the world how women feel. For this woman, that will never be enough.
Ella Whelan is assistant editor at Spiked.