A dozen members of FemCo, the school’s feminist group, paraded through the Cambridge Common on January 20 to protest sexual harassment, gender inequality, and President Trump in the 2018 Cambridge-Boston Women’s March.
The January Coalition, a group of Massachusetts residents, organized the march in coordination with the Women’s March Network, a group that encourages activism in the state. The goal of the day was to protest an administration that is “eroding the rights of women and other marginalized people, dismantling and destroying our democracy, and putting the entire world at risk,” the organizations’ websites said. Five thousand people went to the Cambridge Common this year compared to the nearly 175,000 people who marched through Boston the day after President Trump’s inauguration last year.
FemCo’s presidents Lucy Goldfarb, Emily Brower (both ’18), and Nilufahr Cooper ’19 heard about the march several weeks ago and decided to send a What’s Happening email to invite students and faculty to join, regardless of their involvement in FemCo.
Nilu, who attended the Boston Women’s March last year, said she wanted to be part of the day again.
“My personal motivations to go to the Women’s March were to experience the amazing atmosphere that forms when you get thousands of empowered, passionate women—and men—together in one space,” Nilu said. “The energy is irrepressible and highly contagious. More than anything, though, I didn’t want [that energy] to fizzle out. This is a movement too important to not attend and support year after year.”
The 12 students arrived in front of the Harvard-Epworth United Methodist Church in Cambridge at 1:15 p.m. and spent the next two hours marching. Several leaders, including Cambridge Mayor Marc McGovern, spoke, and the protesters yelled numerous chants like “My body, my choice—my vote, my voice.” Many marchers wore the pink hats from the 2017 event, holding signs with sayings like “I Can’t Believe We Still Have to Protest This Crap.”
Lizi Barrow ’20, whose sign read “Fight Like A Girl,” said she was glad she marched.
“I wanted to show my support for a movement that directly impacts women’s lives,” she said. “I wanted other women to see my sign and be proud that they are female and that they can fight like a girl.”
Max Ambris ’19 said he attended both the 2017 and 2018 march because he cares a lot about activism.
“Being surrounded by people chanting about gender equity and seeing signs that both inspire [me] and make me laugh invigorate my conviction in my beliefs and my love for the people with whom I stand,” Max said.
Drama Teacher Mark Lindberg, who also went to the march, said he thought this march helped enhance people’s solidarity in the city.
“Most marches do little to effect social change, but they do energize people and encourage other forms of action by reminding us we are not alone or isolated. Saturday was such an event,” he said. “The danger is that energy flags after an initial outburst like last year’s marches. Opposition is so often slow, disciplined, tedious work. It is important to find ways to continue to resist.”
Margaret Hardigg ’18 said she was glad she brought her 8-year-old sister, Louise, to the march.
“Going with Louise was really empowering because I felt I was exposing her to positive messages—teaching her from a young age to be proud of her femininity and to fight for equal rights,” she said.
Emily said she hopes the Women’s March will have a positive effect on the future.
“I hope the impact of the Women’s March will be to [show] the mass dissent but also the togetherness of the feminist movement,” she said. “I really hope it shows the ability groups of people have to rebel and express their unrest against the government.”