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Why the recent Women's March in D.C. was the most significant

Thousands flocked to the Nation's Capitol over the weekend to the attend the 2nd Women's March of the year. Why this one holds more significance than the ones before

Why the recent Women's March in D.C. was the most significant

Crowds gather for the Women's March in Washington, D.C.

Photo credit: Sandra Salathe

Over the weekend, I traveled back to my home city of Washington, D.C. to attend the 2nd Women's March of the year. The march was organized to honor the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and protest the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Although I've attended every Women's March since it's inception in 2017, this one felt different.

For one, it arrived amidst a global pandemic which claimed the lives of 200,000 plus Americans. Another being the crucial, upcoming presidential election. For me, all of these were justifiable reasons to march.


Despite the first march occurring after Trump's inauguration, there was a sense of urgency and desperation eminent within the air this time around. Perhaps the primary reason being because there's so much on the line. We are residing in a country where the threat of a Christian theocracy looms near, reminiscent of a Margaret Atwood novel.

In fact, numerous women dressed as handmaidens during the march, donning red dresses and white bonnets, with "Trump Pence OUT NOW!" signs hanging from their necks.

Another handmaid costume caught my eye, but the sign attached was slightly more ominous.

"I thought this was just a costume..." it read.

Handmaids march in unison at the Women's March in Washington, D.C.Photo credit: Sandra Salathe

The handmaid costumes are an apparent nod to Amy Coney Barrett's affiliation with the small Christian group, People of Praise, which received criticism over it's similarities to Atwood's 1985 dystopian novel, The Handmaid's Tale. Barrett - as well as her parents -have had active roles in the organization, according to documents and interviews obtained by the Washington Post.

According to a 2010 People of Praise directory excerpt also obtained by The Washington Post, Barrett supposedly held the title of "handmaid" which is believed to be a leadership position for women in the community. The organization has denied Barrett's involvement within their community and has since removed her name and photographs from all its archives.

Barrett's sketchy past with the religious organization is enough cause for concern considering her likely confirmation to the Supreme Court. The idea that someone with immense conservative beliefs and religious agenda will have the ability to craft the laws governing our country sends chills throughout my body.

It's as if we're living within the realm of a real-life horror film, where the climax has yet to hit.

Protestors clash at Women's March in Washington, D.C. Photo credit: Sandra Salathe

These are dangerous times we're living in. Whether you're a woman or not. The impact of Trump being re-elected, along with Barrett's confirmation to the Supreme Court will gravely impact several Americans for decades. It has never been a more terrifying time to be a woman in this country.

Abortion access is at stake. Reproductive freedom is at stake. Affordable healthcare is at stake. LGBTQ rights are at stake. Basic, moral principle is at stake.

That's why these marches and call to action matter more than ever. As a nation, we are divided, but seeing these acts of unity gives me hope. Whether it's Black Lives Matter protests, or the Women's March, there is strength in numbers and I believe we're stronger when we rise together for the common good of the nation.

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I am psychologist at the University of Sussex whose work is focused on supporting and researching parents - it has become clear to me that we need to worker harder to support the mental health of fathers. Here's why.

Why as a mum and a psychologist I want us to talk more about dads

Fatherhood

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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You know when there’s a controversy whether to include both sides to the Holocaust in a Texas school district, the culture wars have once again invaded the children’s lives. Similarly, in Southern Pennsylvania, books by people of color were banned (or per the official Central York School statement: “frozen” for an entire year.)

These discussions by the school boards are impacted by the bills passed in government, as in the case of House Bill 3979 requiring public school teachers to present various points of view when teaching about current events and social issues. Often, the impulse to clutch pearls and to “think of the children” is a rhetorical device to further political causes. As the larger climate in a racialized society such as the United States grapple with a history of slavery and the fight for racial justice--with the most current iteration being the black lives matter protests in the summer of 2020--what the children learn in schools have become a new battleground for those who land on opposing sides of this culture war.

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