Nevertheless, she persisted: Mobilization after the Women’s March


  • Bettina Spencer Saint Mary's College
  • Ernesto Verdeja University of Notre Dame


The Women’s March in Washington D.C. had a crowd size of approximately 750,000 people, possibly much higher. Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City and numerous other cities across the United States experienced large and diverse demonstrations. What is particularly noteworthy is both the size of individual demonstrations and the number of demonstrations across the country. With such high levels of participation, and with such an intersectional platform, the Women’s March created an inclusive, large-scale social movement and was an impressive display of political mobilization.

We are interested in whether the participants in the Washington D.C. march were likely to continue to participate in other forms of social mobilization as compared to participants who marched elsewhere, or who did not march at all that day.  We administered a survey to assess whether people who attended the women’s march in D.C. were indeed influenced to participate in more marches, and importantly, for a greater range of causes, than people who attended smaller marches or who did not march at all. We found that our hypotheses were partially supported in that participants did not differ in their level of protest participation before the women’s march.  However, whether participants marched in D.C. or elsewhere did make a significant difference on future intentions; participating in any march that day increased interest in future protests for a wider set of causes.

Keywords: Women’s March, feminism, social movements, activism


Author Biographies

Bettina Spencer, Saint Mary's College

I am an Associate Professor of Psychology and Gender and Women's Studies at Saint Mary's College. Research interests include examing how stereotyping and prejudice impact stigmatized groups; the intersection of gender and social class; cross-cultural psychology; dehumanization; and the impact of single-sex environments on college-age women.

Ernesto Verdeja, University of Notre Dame

I am an Associate Professor of Politcal Science and Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Research interests include large-scale political violence and mass atrocities, political reconciliation, peace studies and social movements, and contemporary democratic and feminist theory.


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