Windham: From Pink Collars to Pink Hats: Working-Class Feminism’s Resistance

Labor News

(Photo: Sipa USA via AP/Erik McGregor) Women and allies march in New York City on March 8, 2017, as part of the International Women's Strike on on International Women's Day.

Reprinted from The American Prospect by Lane Windham on March 29, 2017.

“Tightly gripping a ‘Firefighters for Women’s Rights and Equality’ banner at the Women’s March on Washington, a group of women who had once made history as New York City’s first female firefighters roared up Independence Avenue,” writes Lane Windham in The American Prospect. “There, they joined a new generation of labor activists: teachers, nurses, government workers, restaurant servers, home health-care aides, communications workers, and thousands of other working-class women and men who turned out to protest Donald Trump’s inauguration in what was perhaps the largest global political mobilization in history. Women have continued to march, huddle, strike, and organize against Trump since January, among them legions of young women workers. Is it possible that women—including working-class women—can generate a powerful-enough grassroots movement to overcome Trump?

“It’s not immediately obvious that a new women’s movement will spell the Donald’s downfall. The corporatized feminism featured in the popular media seems a particularly poor basis for opposition. If Dove soap, Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg, and Ivanka Trump are our modern-day feminist icons, there is little hope that the women’s movement can be a cross-class organizing tool. Even many progressives doubt the power of women’s issues to transform the political moment; some branded the call for women to strike on March 8 as elitist, for example. …

The American Prospect 3/29

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Jeff Burman represents assistant editors on the Guild’s Board of Directors. He can be reached at

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