What ‘A Day Without A Woman’ Can Learn From The Implosion Of Pantsuit Nation

In the days after the election, the rapid ascent of Hillary-fan-page-turned-support-group Pantsuit Nation was promisingly fertile ground for anti-Trump action and community building. The group connected nearly four million fired-up women and allies; the potential was boundless. 

That is, until the backlash—which by now has been well documented—brought on in large part by founder Libby Chamberlain’s announcement that she’d scored a deal for a Pantsuit Nation book. The move was seen by many members as a betrayal, a selling out of their heartfelt investment. But the group had problems from the start. Women of color were underrepresented and often brushed aside. And moderators set out limiting posts to first-person experiences, neutering the ability of members to share calls to action or important news stories with like-minded people across the nation.

Regional splinter groups are still active and vital, but the national chapter of Pantsuit Nation is basically a crash course in how not to run a political movement. Here are a few lessons we can learn from this disaster, so we can do better next time.

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Chris Alexakis