‘Nasty Women’ take a stand for women’s rights
Locals help make history at Women’s March On Washington
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.
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.
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.