On January 18, 2020, women all around the world gathered to march for their rights—from D.C. to New York to Uganda. William Shakespeare once wrote, “Though she be but little, she is fierce,” and this truly represents the spirit of the Cambridge Women’s March. Right in the backyard of Boston, a small group of women––with a strong presence of BC students––gathered to share their stories and inspire others in hopes of igniting change in society.
Huddled together on a cold January afternoon, the assembled women spoke of freedom and hope for the future. They went around in a circle, discussing why they decided to show up on this frigid day. One woman spoke of the march she organized in Uganda last year. Another story froze everyone in their tracks. A young high school girl chose to recount her experience of assault. She was raped by a close friend, and she proceeded to add that no matter how small, marches like the one in Cambridge bring her hope. We, as attendees, are her therapy. We make her feel in control of her own life. Her story defines the reason why people march.
With time, the circle grew as Boston College freshmen were among those to arrive and speak up. Throughout the mingled mix of all ages and genders, feelings of empowerment were palpable. A freshman from Stonehill College said that she marches because she believes it is very important to “educate people about what is happening in terms of inequality between men and women.” She adds, “As a woman, my mom taught me that women can do anything and I want to stand up for that.”
These young voices were incredibly inspiring. Madeleine McGrath, MCAS ‘23, said she came because she wants to give a voice to those who feel as though they do not have one.
Alongside many college students was hopeful Congress candidate, Dave Cavell. I had the pleasure of speaking with Cavell and his team to discuss why he participated, and what he hopes to accomplish if elected. Cavell is running for Congress because he believes that those who represent us need to be on the front lines of what they preach. As the Assistant Attorney General in Massachusetts and former presidential speech writer for the Obamas, Cavell’s democratic resume seems to check all of the boxes for a successful campaign.
Cavell explains why he attended the march, saying, “Women’s rights are human rights and I think we all need to be about supporting that; especially now when women’s rights, amongst many things, seem as if they are under the greatest attack they have been in a generation.” Cavell feels that the overwhelming majority of people believe in what the Women’s March stands for, and agree that Roe v. Wade establishes a fundamental right. However, he is concerned that people do not know how to achieve further progress in the realm. He believes he is the best person to do this.
The Cambridge Women’s March may have paled in numbers compared to that of Washington, D.C., but that is not what truly matters. What matters is the bold fierceness of present and future generations when it comes to standing up to protect our rights. Showing up is the first step in the right direction… and silence is compliance.