By: Hanna Laue ‘17
On Jan. 21, hundreds of thousands of people from all over the country gathered together at the National Mall in Washington D.C. for the Women’s March on Washington to demonstrate their support for women’s rights.
People of all ages, genders and ethnicities flooded the streets in pink attire, holding creative signs to publicly display their concerns on women’s issues. The primary motive behind this revolutionary event was sparked from newly inaugurated President Donald Trump’s concerning agenda for women’s rights.
The Rally began at 10 A.M. near the U.S. Capitol Building, followed by a march near the Washington Monument as the end point. The Women’s March was orchestrated by a national committee and national co-chairs who worked with independent coordinators at the state level.
In addition, dozens of notable activists, chair members, and entertainers spoke and performed at the rally to show their support for the March such as: America Ferrera, Scarlett Johansson, Gloria Steinem and Linda Sarsour. Organizations, such as Planned Parenthood and the NAACP also partnered with the March.
The Women’s March on Washington did not solely take place at the country’s capital, but hundreds of other cities across the globe participated in this momentous event known as “sister marches.”
While many Gordon College students did participate in a local sister march in Boston, some students went the extra mile to attend the March in Washington D.C. Rachel Baldwin ‘17, a participant of the event, did not officially go with a Gordon group, but believes she is a representative of the College.
Baldwin said, “I am happy to represent the women of Gordon, but I am also going as an individual, as a representative of my family, my town, etc.”
Baldwin believes the March was not only just geared towards the rights of women, but towards a larger population. “The women’s march is for solidarity, not just for women, but people of color, immigrants, undocumented immigrants in America, LGBT people, and other marginalized groups of people in our country that have been discriminated against in different ways, in recent history and in the entire history of our country.”
Additionally, Baldwin believes the march was in a way protesting the inauguration, as well as standing in solidarity with those marginalized groups of people President Trump has spoke out against.
On the other hand, Cassie McCoumb ‘17, another attendee of the March in Washington D.C., believed the event was geared towards women solely, rather than a huge emphasis on the anti-Trump sentiment.
“The Women’s March on Washington meant coming together as women to show that we are uncomfortable with how things are progressing. As well as showing that the level of respect can increase,” McCoumb said.
McCoumb elaborates by describing the negativity she saw at the March from many of the participants. She said, “I was surprised at the level of disrespect that many of the Women’s March participants had towards Donald Trump, but even more so towards Trump supporters. To me, I saw the march more about being against Donald Trump rather than being for pro the rights of women, and that was rather discouraging.”
Although both positive and negative points were expressed from Gordon College students regarding the March, the overall importance of the event, Baldwin believes, drew people together, not apart.
She said, “I believe it’s important to stand in strength and solidarity with other women, with the marginalized and discriminated against. I also believe it will be a life-giving experience to stand with people who are mourning the inauguration of Trump, who are outward and active in opposing it.”
This is just the beginning for acts of social justice in both the nation and in College’s local community. Baldwin expressed her passion for not only women’s rights, but in other areas of social justice as well. “I’m currently on the leadership team for what we call a “Queer Prayer Group” where LGBT people and allies come together and encourage one another, pray, and create a safe space to simply be. I’m hoping to participate in more marches this semester. April 29 there’s another march on Washington for climate change awareness. I’m hoping to get more educated and more active.”