Women March Around the Country

By Melanie Perez

(TEANECK) – Members of the FDU community joined the millions of people gathered in major cities of the world for the Women’s March on Jan. 21.

Dr. Janet Boyd, the director of the School of Humanities and an associate professor of English, gained media attention from USA Today for her notable sign that said, “Strong women: Know them. Be them. Raise them.”

Boyd, who was in attendance with her sons, husband, sister and friend, said that she chose to go to the march because she wanted to raise her voice with those who care about protecting not only women’s rights, but rights for all those who are in some way marginalized or threatened.

“Tell me what democracy looks like? THIS is what democracy looks like,” she said.

Donyae Johnson, an international studies major from Virginia, also marched in Washington D.C. She said that she felt compelled to attend the march and stand up for what she believes in.

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“As a young minority woman, I refused to sit idly by as a narcissist bigot minimalized women of all races,” Johnson said.

The march, which was initially sparked out of upset over Trump’s statements regarding abortion and women’s rights, gained international media attention as men and women from around the world joined in solidarity with those in the U.S.

Although the march was coined “The Women’s March,” the premise of the movement is that women’s rights are human rights, and that women are not the only ones who have been threatened in the frenzy of the 2016 election.

“The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us – immigrants of all statuses, Muslims and those of diverse religious faiths, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, survivors of sexual assault – and our communities are hurting and scared,” said the mission statement on the Women’s March website.

Johnson, who marched with her mother, said that participating in the march made her feel uplifted that she was not alone in her feelings about Trump.

“It symbolized the changes that are still needed to come in America and the struggles of woman of all races throughout the inception of America,” she said.

Johnson said she did not make a sign for the march and did not regret her decision, because as a minority, she felt like her presence was statement enough. But she did remember her favorite sign, which said, “I can’t believe I am still protesting this shit.”

Boyd, who said she has be-come increasingly more involved in local volunteering causes, said that al-though her family’s signs got national attention as being some of the best in the country, that her personal favorites were: “Tweet Women with Respect,” “Grizzly Bears Against School Vio-lence,” and “Viva la Vulva.”

“Don’t think you can’t make a difference or that someone else will take care of the problems,” Boyd said. Although she thought this might be trite, Boyd said she’d use Margaret Mead’s words.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citi-zens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”