Taking a Stand: BSU Honors Students Join the Women’s March on Washington

By: Kasey Andrade

The views expressed in this post represent those of the author and those featured, and do not represent the views of the Bridgewater State University Honors Program.

On January 21, people around the world came together to stand up for their beliefs and raise their voices at the Women’s March. During this movement, spanning all seven continents, millions joined forces to create a united front in order to bring attention to pressing issues. Several BSU Honors Program members could be found in the crowd gathered along the National Mall, amongst the hundreds of thousands of marchers in Washington D.C.

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Sarah Fender at the Women’s March on Washington

Sarah Fender ’18, decided to attend the Women’s March on Washington because she believes “the rhetoric espoused by our newly elected president tends to degrade historically marginalized groups as well as women. His remarks about women and the video that was released prior to the election that can be strongly argued as an admission of sexual assault has exposed to what degree our country disregards women’s issues.”  Sarah adds to her reasoning for marching by explaining, “Too often men such as Donald Trump sexually harass and assault women and face no repercussions for their actions, and we want to bring attention to this issue.”

Emily Wiegand ’17, also took part in the Women’s March on Washington, and further explains how the march was rooted in passion, not hate, “Although a lot of media stations promoted the march to be an ‘anti-Trump’ rally, it was so much more than just that; it was a demonstration by millions of people worldwide standing up for all women and the rights that they have always deserved. It was a reminder to the current president that although he is respectfully in office, he has masses of people watching him, but also hoping to support him as long as the respect and support is mutual.”

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Emily Wiegand at the Women’s March on Washington

Attending the event was inspiring for both Sarah and Emily. Sarah described the experience to be heartwarming and revolutionary, from participating in chants and seeing “incredible, creative and provocative” signs to the people that she met during the march, describing how the individuals she spoke to had interesting and influential experiences to share. Specifically she recalls how many of the women she met were older “and participated in marches for these same issues in the ’60s and ’70s.” She further commented on the diversity of the crowd, a sentiment echoed by Emily who explains “Being in such a large and diverse crowd (full of both citizens and celebrities, young and old, male and female) that was promoting so much love, peace, and acceptance was truly inspiring. It really highlighted the unity this country can have towards a common goal of equality.”

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Protesters marching at the Women’s March on Washington, photo courtesy of Emily Wiegand

While the march itself lasted one day, the movement is sure to continue. Sarah hopes that this march “will inspire in people a passion for activism and political action because ultimately the only way we can effect change in our government is by actively petitioning for our rights, by organizing, by talking and influencing.”  Emily is one example of how this hope will be fulfilled, sharing, “After experiencing this monumental movement, I truly intend to continue to be an activist throughout the rest of the current presidency and my life.” Sarah and Emily, along with all of the individuals who participated in the Women’s March across the globe, demonstrated the strength that lies in diversity and the power of using one’s voice to stand up for equality.

 

 

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