‘Nasty Women’ take a stand for women’s rights

Lo­cals help make his­tory at Women’s March On Wash­ing­ton

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By TIF­FANY WAT­SON twat­son@somd­news.com

Thou­sands of women in pink hats flooded the streets of Wash­ing­ton, D.C., to make his­tory at the Wom- en’s March On Wash­ing­ton last Satur­day. Chants of “Yes, we can” and “This is what democ­racy looks like” were heard from thou­sands as they marched past the U.S. Capi­tol and the White House.

How­ever, these women were not an­gry ri­ot­ers. In­stead they were peace­ful protestors who said they will not tol­er­ate how the past elec­tion in­sulted and threat­ened their rights, safety, health and fam­i­lies. Dur­ing the sec­ond pres­i­den­tial de­bate in 2016,

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump in­ter­rupted his op­po­nent Hil­lary Clin­ton and said she was “a nasty woman” as she re­sponded to a ques­tion. Women adopted the phrase and, at the march, gave the term a new mean­ing: a con­fi­dent, strong fe­male who takes ac­tion.

Women from South­ern Mary­land re­fused to let his­tory be made with­out them. With the help of or­ga­nizer Ju­lia Ni­chols, more than 250 peo­ple from Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s coun­ties joined the Women’s March on Wash­ing­ton trav­el­ing on five buses. The peace­ful protest be­tween friends, fam­ily and com­mu­nity was de­signed to con­vey to Trump and the new ad­min­is­tra­tion that “there is no true peace with­out jus- tice and equal­ity for all.”

“If you wanted to hear the show you stay home, but to­day we had to be heard and seen,” said Great Mills res­i­dent Lisa Shen­der.

Ap­prox­i­mately 1.2 mil- lion peo­ple gath­ered in the na­tion’s cap­i­tal to speak out re­gard­ing var­i­ous causes, in­clud­ing women’s rights be­ing hu­man rights. That was a por­tion of the es­ti­mated 5 mil­lion gath­ered world­wide for the event, ac- cord­ing to the Women’s March on Wash­ing­ton web­site.

“In Trump’s in­au­gu­ral speech, he spoke about be- ing the largest move­ment the world has ever seen — but I think this march has ab­so­lutely trumped his move­ment,” said Prince Fred­er­ick res­i­dent Wendy White, who noted she was a Repub­li­can.

Ac­tress Amer­ica Fer­rera spoke at the Wash­ing- ton D.C. march and said it has been a dif­fi­cult time to be both a woman and an im­mi­grant in this coun­try.

“Our dig­nity, our char- ac­ter, our rights have all been un­der at­tack, and a plat­form of hate and divi­sion as­sumed power on Fri­day. But the presi- dent is not Amer­ica, his cabi­net is not Amer­ica, Congress is not Amer­ica. We are Amer­ica and we are here to stay,” Fer­rera said.

“We are not here to be de­bunked, we are here to be re­spected and [our gen­i­tals] aren’t for grab­bing,” said ac­tress and hu­man­i­tar­ian Ash­ley Judd.

Ad­di­tional speak­ers in- cluded singer Ali­cia Keys, An­gela Davis, Scar­lett Jo­hans­son, au­thor Jan- et Mock and writer and ac­tivist Glo­ria Steinem. Madonna and Maxwell also per­formed dur­ing the rally.

“No more ask­ing daddy ... this is a day that will change us for­ever be­cause we are to­gether,” Steinem said.

Wal­dorf res­i­dent Abena McAl­lis­ter said it was “awe­some” see­ing Ash­ley Judd and Ce­cile Richards, CEO of Planned Par­ent- hood, talk about what they do for women in com­mu­ni­ties across the na­tion.

“I’m stand­ing for equal pay be­cause I want my daugh­ter to grow up in a so­ci­ety where she feels val­ued. She de­serves equal pay for equal work be­cause her in­tel­li­gence and her hard work would be val­ued just as much as it would had she been a man,” McAl­lis­ter said.

Wal­dorf res­i­dent Saun­dra Pace said it was her first time at­tend­ing a march, de­scrib­ing it as phe­nom­e­nal. She said it warmed her heart to see peo­ple from all dif­fer­ent na­tion­al­i­ties there fight- ing for the same cause.

Leonard­town res­i­dent Robyn Baney brought her daugh­ter Brooke, 11, to the march be­cause of the his­tor­i­cal rel­e­vance it would be to her daugh­ter even years into the fu­ture. She said she wanted her daugh­ter to rec­og­nize that women are no longer the si­lent ma­jor­ity.

“It was pow­er­ful to bring my daugh­ter here and let her see all of this and hear the iconic wom- en speak­ing. We were packed in there, but there was so much love and no fight­ing, yelling, push­ing or bick­er­ing,” Robyn said.

“We made his­tory be­cause we stood for our rights and our coun­try. If peo­ple feel that some­thing is wrong in this coun­try then they should say that for them­selves and that’s ex­actly what we did here,” Brooke said.

Lex­ing­ton Park res­i­dent Jackie Sass brought her daugh­ter Abi­gail, 11, into Wash­ing­ton. Abi­gail said it was great see­ing all of the peo­ple that trav­eled many hours just to march in the District.

“This is go­ing to be in the his­tory books and I’m glad we get to be a part of it. We stood for all of the peo­ple who couldn’t be here to stand up for them- selves,” Abi­gail said.

“This is democ­racy,” Jackie said. “Hu­man rights means a lot to us. This is a large num­ber of Amer­i­cans that are tak­ing a stand to say that they are not just go­ing to roll over and see civil rights progress of 60 years go back­wards in a flash.”

Many of the speak­ers raised na­tional is­sues — im­mi­grants of all sta­tus- es, Mus­lim reg­is­tra­tion, peo­ple who iden­tify as LGBTQIA, na­tive peo­ple, civil rights, hu­man rights (women’s rights), peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties, sur­vivors of sexual as­sault — as they spoke against fear, in­fe­ri­or­ity and big­otr y.

Film­maker Michael Moore en­cour­aged protestors to get busy call­ing their lo­cal Con­gres­sional rep­re­sen­ta­tives. Lusby res­i­dent Betty Gold­stein said it was good see­ing so many peo­ple come out and be ac­tive, but she hopes that it doesn’t just stop af­ter Satur­day.

“You can show up and march, but it’s what you do af­ter the march that is mak­ing the protests ... heard. You got to con­tact your elected of­fi­cials and change things in the midterm elec­tions. We need to keep be­ing heard or else it would be in­ef­fec- tive,” Gold­stein said.

Her daugh­ter, Sandie Gold­stein, de­scribed the march as an ex­traordi- nary, mon­u­men­tal ex­pe­ri­ence.

“It was so mov­ing to see so many peo­ple fight­ing for the cause. I will get to tell my grand­chil­dren about be­ing here. Be­ing able to take ac­tion like this is a priv­i­lege and rad as hell,” Sandie said.

La Plata res­i­dent Joan Madewell, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the LGBTQ com­mu­nity in Charles County, said she was touched by the words of So­phie Cruz, an im­mi­grant rights ac­tivist, and hear­ing the names of those lost to po­lice bru­tal­ity dur­ing the per­for­mance of singer Janelle Monae and Won­da­land.

“We’re let­ting the nasty come out to do the right thing. We used that nas­ti­ness as a fuel for change,” Madewell said.

Charles County Com­mis­sioner De­bra M. Davis (D) said in her many years of at­tend­ing marches in Wash­ing­ton, she has never seen one so large, uni­fied, ex­cit­ing and filled with ca­ma­raderie. She said she can’t imag­ine that this move­ment is go­ing to die.

Wal­dorf res­i­dents Abena McAl­lis­ter, left, and Saun­dra Pace hold signs at the Women’s March on Wash­ing­ton on Satur­day.

STAFF PHO­TOS BY TIF­FANY WAT­SON

South­ern Mary­land res­i­dents — women and chil­dren — at­tend the Women’s March on Wash­ing­ton on Satur­day to take a stand for women’s rights.

Lusby res­i­dent Sandie Gold­stein at the Women’s March on Wash­ing­ton on Satur­day protest­ing for LGBTQ rights in honor of her sis­ter.

Ac­tress and hu­man­i­tar­ian Ash­ley Judd ad­dresses protestors at the Women’s March on Wash­ing­ton while stand­ing on the Planned Par­ent­hood ta­ble.

STAFF PHOTO BY TIF­FANY WAT­SON

Port Tobacco res­i­dent Colleen Had­daway at the Women’s March On Wash­ing­ton on Satur­day Jan. 21, tak­ing a stand for women’s rights.

Ac­tress and hu­man­i­tar­ian Ash­ley Judd, left, and the CEO of Planned Par­ent­hood, Ce­cile Richards, stand at the Women’s March On Wash­ing­ton last Satur­day.

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