by Hannah Stafford, News Editor
After President Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20, protests erupted from various groups across America, on Saturday. The feminist community in particular received much attention for its organized “March for Women,” which took place in Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Boston, New York City and countless other small towns and cities.
President Trump has sparked unrest among feminists with his promise to defund Planned Parenthood and restrict abortion access while in office. He has also made many controversial statements regarding women both before and after being elected.
In Lexington, an estimated 5,000 men, women and children, according to the Lexington Police Department, gathered at the courthouse plaza protesting President Trump, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin and advocating for women around the globe. A few Asbury students joined the march, an act that senior Cynthia Moberly described as “an amazing opportunity.”
“The Women’s march was important because it allowed women everywhere the chance to stand up for equality,” Moberly said. “As women in the United States, we are privileged to live with less friction from societal constraints than women in many other areas of the world. As a privileged white woman in the United States, I marched for all of the little girls around the world who were watching…. Those little girls deserve to aspire to become doctors, lawyers, pastors and engineers and to be paid the same amount of money as their male counterparts.”
Senior Shelby Lawhorn agreed that it is important for American women to use their “white privilege” to help women of other countries who are less fortunate.
“The march isn’t just about me and my situation. It’s about all of us, and all of our situations,” Lawhorn said. “Feminism in its essence is an all-inclusive spectrum, and it’s not just a personal battle. As Christians, we aren’t called to the issues that only affect us, but the world. That’s why it’s important. That’s why I march.”
While the March for Women in Washington D.C. received significant attention for its strong pro-choice stance, junior Faith Neece said that she wants people to know that not all feminists are pro-choice.
“While the march in DC issued a statement of being pro-choice, the one in Lexington was specifically inclusive of people with all beliefs on this issue, and many who would consider themselves pro-life were there,” said Neece. “While this issue is important, I wish it was not so divisive. I hope that Asburians will not reject the feminist movement because of this. The core of this movement is about equality, and I hope people can see that.”
Lawhorn agreed with Neece that the concept of feminism is often misunderstood.
“I think a lot of Asbury doesn’t understand or doesn’t want to understand what feminism is. It isn’t just a box to check, “yes or no,” and if you check it you have to believe in every single thing other women believe in,” Lawhorn said. “I think if [non-feminists] researched the history of feminism and multiple styles of feminist discourse, they would be surprised.”
Many of the Asbury students who attended the Lexington march agreed that it was a positive and exciting experience and are now more determined than ever to fight for women’s rights.
“We need more feminist Christians,” said Moberly. “Women who are willing to rise to the occasion and become leaders in the church, in politics and in education who are pursuing the heart of Jesus.”