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Why Hoosiers are marching on D.C. for women's rights

"I want to be part of a movement that will not back down in the face of adversity."



  • Fred Leary
Sometime this Friday, perhaps right around the time President-elect Donald Trump places his hand on a Bible and takes the oath of office, thousands of bus drivers from all over the United States will turn over the ignition.

These buses — and trains, and planes, and automobiles, too — will carry hundreds of thousands of women who, on Saturday morning, will march together on the Mall. Organizers of the Women's March on Washington estimate 200,000 marchers will attend, and thousands of Hoosiers will join the contingent.

Why march? Why now? Organizers write in their mission statement that, "The Women's March on Washington will send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women's rights are human rights."

The choice of words — "women's rights are human rights" — is no accident. It's a callback to Hillary Clinton's iconic speech at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, which has become a feminist rallying cry. More than 20 years later, Clinton's opponent in the presidential race faced questions for the duration of the campaign about his treatment of women, with accusations of sexual assault mounting through Election Day. Organizers are clear to note the purpose of the march is not exclusively anti-Trump, but one that challenges his continuously inflammatory rhetoric about marginalized populations.

A 2016 rally for women's rights at the Statehouse - MARK A. LEE
  • Mark A. Lee
  • A 2016 rally for women's rights at the Statehouse

The organizers of this protest have solidified into a progressive, inclusive, intersectional movement, releasing a radical platform that affirms this protest as one for everyone. The Women's March seeks to highlight the multitude of issues that women face: sexual assault, discrimination, reproductive injustice, wage disparity, domestic violence and other obstacles due to their race, orientation, religion, ability, class or creed.

Before those buses take off, we asked 100 Hoosiers marching on Saturday in D.C. to outline their reasons for protesting; what they want our legislators and leaders to know; and what they'll do after those buses roll on home.

Editor's note: We printed 100 responses, but expanded online because, well, we can.

I am marching because:

"My mom, now 83, taught me to be a strong woman. For my daughter, who I raised to stand up for herself. For my son, who learned that strong women are worth knowing and he married one. For my new granddaughter, who shouldn't have to fight to be valued." — Vicky Hrdy, Lafayette

"I want my 11-year-old kid to experience a monumental event, to impress upon him that this is not 'business as usual.' " — Kayte Young, Bloomington

"I have a granddaughter who needs to grow up believing that she can do anything. Because my 86-year-old mom who grew up in a Kentucky mining camp gave me brains, perseverance and wings" — Linda Cronk, Valparaiso

"For so many reasons — justice, equality, BLM, etc. — but mainly because it is exhausting to be a progressive Hoosier woman. I need to connect with others who feel the way I do." — Natalie Mazanowski, Indianapolis

"To stop the onslaught of legislation against women's reproductive rights; for equal pay; to stand with minority sisters to ensure they are heard." — Jennifer Cassidy, Bloomington

"I believe that America is already great. I have to protect humanity from the hate spewed by Trump and his oligarchs who will be his cabinet. I want to protect the environment from Trump and his disbelief that global warming is a Chinese hoax. I believe in women's rights and that they are human rights. I believe that all people are my brothers and sisters no matter the color of their skin, their sexual orientation or their religion." — Debbie Dillow, Pittsboro

A 2016 rally for women's rights at the Statehouse - MARK A. LEE
  • Mark A. Lee
  • A 2016 rally for women's rights at the Statehouse

"So that my granddaughters won't have to." — Joy Sherrill, Indianapolis

"I refuse to allow someone who thrives on hate, and admits to sexual assault, erode anyone's rights and turn this country into a complete farce." — Kimberly Huber, Helmsburg

"As a daughter of an Arab and Muslim father, I feel it important that diversity is celebrated and honored, not shut down. As a woman, I am also aghast at the thought of Mike Pence being in a seat of power in this country. His views on women are antiquated." — Mona Kheiry, Carmel

"As a woman I have the right to the same autonomy as anyone, including men. I have the right to make decisions about the health and wellbeing of my body without legislation telling me what I can and cannot do. I protested HB 1337 in April 2016, and then Pence becomes Vice President of the United States. This is wrong and that's why I am marching." — Julie Hardesty, Bloomington

"Progress is on the line and I want to represent in D.C. as a progressive Hoosier." — Meg McLane, Indianapolis 

"I want to stand up publicly for Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ rights, reproductive justice, the rights of immigrants, and to show up in support of all those threatened by Trump, his cabinet, and his policies." — Laura Tetreault, Bloomington

"I want to be able to look my children in the eye and tell them I did everything I could to protect human rights in this country." — Diana Ratcliff, Indianapolis


"I won't let fear, or this male who is going to be president, dictate my path or my body." — Peggy Esselman Campbell, Indianapolis

"Our rights are disappearing. And because others cannot march and I can." — Sharon Mullins, Liberty

"Protecting women's rights including the right to reproductive healthcare and equal pay is worth traveling across the country and marching for." — Rachel Burgess, Plainfield

"I want to be part of a movement that will not back down in the face of adversity." — Carol Worcel, Indianapolis

Demonstrators marching in the street holding signs during the March on Washington, a historic march for civil rights in 1963. - MARION S TRIKOSKO
  • Marion S Trikosko
  • Demonstrators marching in the street holding signs during the March on Washington, a historic march for civil rights in 1963.

"Trump is a sexist, xenophobe who allies himself with racists." — Mary Koselke, Valparaiso

"Women's health care is already in jeopardy, with Paul Ryan promising to defund Planned Parenthood, repeal the ACA, and cut Medicare. We need to fight to save these laws." — Julie Storbeck, Valparaiso

"As a female scientist, I am both terrified and saddened by our country's current state. Neighbors, once friends, are turning against each other instead of unifying arm-in-arm. We all have more similarities than differences. So I am marching to send the resounding message that we are the majority. The majority, Democrats and Republicans alike, in this great nation will not stand for hate, intolerance or bullying. The majority lift each other up, not drag them down. So we march to remind our elected officials that are voices are loud. Our needs are real. Our stories are real. And our intent is that those same elected officials will not forget those things as they transition into office." — Kate Anderson, Fishers

"It's time for women's voices to be heard, and to let our politicians know they can't take our rights away." — Jillian Polman, Valparaiso


"As an expression of love and solidarity with my sisters and brothers of all colors, faiths and sexual orientations. We will be heard and not ignored." ­— Karen Sommers, Chesterton

"I want to be seen! I am taking my daughters, 1 and 17, because I want them to know they can speak and demand to be a part of the American story! I have been advocating for the rights of marginalized [people] for most of my life and I don't plan to stop now. I feel these may be some of the most perilous times for our rights yet!" — Rev. Tammy Mills, Indianapolis

"I love people who are gay, black and Mexican." — Mary Willey, Fishers

"I was a single, teenage mom who benefitted from social services, as well as access to abortion services, while I was finishing my college degree. I am marching to show that these programs and services help women become independent, self-sufficient citizens." — M. A. Shane, Fishers

"I am frustrated, tired and scared following this recent election. I feel helpless, and I'm looking for something to empower me once more. I believe in women, I believe in our strength, and I believe in the power of expression. I want to be a part of that magic coming together. We will not be ignored. We will stand strong together." — Raychel Anoe, Schererville

"I refuse to be put back into a closet." — Ronnie, Columbus

"Living in a rural area, I have experienced an increase in harassment from males whom believe this election gave them power to do so." — Marcia "Skit" Evrard, West Terre Haute

"Women are not going back to the bad old days." — Annette Magjuka, Greenwood

"I have to! We need to restore and preserve the rights others fought so hard to get for us. we can't be a silent majority any longer." — Jean Alley, Zionsville

"I believe in public education, that women need to be better represented in government, and that women have rights." — Mindy Flask, New Palestine

"I'm a disabled woman with two adult children. I'm concerned for my rights as a disabled person and for the reproductive rights of my grown daughters." — Mia Lee Roberts, Indianapolis


"I am fighting for equal rights for women. I am a mother of two girls, 6 and 1. I want them to have even more advantages than I." — Eliza Clark, Indianapolis

"Women are underestimated. We are stronger together, and this march is representing all the women and men with and without a voice. Women's rights are human rights. Let's let this administration know that we will not sit back and keep quiet. Women must have equal pay in the workplace. We need to protect women's reproductive rights. We need to speak openly about rape culture and how we can make real changes." — Larissa Jones, Greenwood

“I am a child of the sixties and I am tired of seeing women's issues and human issues being ignored by men in power. This has gone on WAY too long.” — Marsha Perkins Humphrey, Indianapolis

"The Equal Rights Amendment was derailed when I was in college. I was sure that Hillary would win and the ERA would be back on the agenda. It is overdue and necessary. That's why I am marching." — Laura Carpenter, Indianapolis

"I am a man who supports the rights of women." — The Rev. Dr. Norman W. Campbell, Indianapolis

"We want our teenaged sons, who are marching with us, to know that it is right to protest peacefully and stand for hope." — Debbi Hodde, Pittsboro

"I want to be a presence in representing the political message behind this march and the activist work of women like Linda Sarsour, Carmen Perez and Tamika D. Mallory. I also became more interested in participating once Planned Parenthood became a partner, because I'm very concerned about the threats facing safe, affordable, and inclusive access to healthcare in our current government." — Ali DeChancie, Indianapolis

"Women's equality, especially access to healthcare, is important to me. I want my daughters to live with access to safe, legal abortion care." — Bridgette Murray, Portage

A 2016 rally for women's rights at the Statehouse - MARK A. LEE
  • Mark A. Lee
  • A 2016 rally for women's rights at the Statehouse
"For my nieces Abby, Maddy, Lily's future. To show them strong women can have an affect on the world. And to never give in or give up." — Bonnie Yost, Lafayette

"This election is illegitimate and Trump isn't our President." — Deborah Cole, Indianapolis

"I'm a triple minority and I'm tired of being invisible and silent." — Dr. Kimberly Martin, Indianapolis

"I could not live with myself if I didn't!" — Rachael Smith, Markleville

"Our civil liberties are at risk. I am standing up to actively protect our republic. As President Lincoln proclaimed in the Gettysburg Address: 'a government of the people, by the people, and for the people' I emphasize for ALL the people." — Barbara Battista, Terre Haute

"I can. I'm 64 and have never been to a march. I am now for those who can't. I join others in saying we will no longer be silent." — Susan Edmondson, Terre Haute

"It is our freedom to peacefully dissent. I object to this president." — Barbara Wolanin, Carmel

"As a Gen-X, 43-year-old mom of two, married to an Indian immigrant and employer of gay, transgender, immigrants (including a Muslim refugee), African-American and Mexican [people], this election is personal and it affects me, my business, my employees and my way of life." ­— Jean, South Bend

"Inequities in the treatment of and violence toward women has to stop! We should never have put someone in the highest office that demonstrates the worst of these abhorrent behaviors." — Michelle Perez, Lebanon

"I want to physically show up against fascism." — Andrew Cambron, Batesville

"I believe women must be acknowledged for the contributions we make to our society, economically, emotionally and spiritually. We are highly educated decision makers that are not to be marginalized. Our voices must be heard." — Joan M. Hamilton, Warren

"I believe in the foundational rights of American democracy. These rights have been threatened and women and minorities have been marginalized in this election. I will not be quiet in the face of hatred, ignorance, and apathy to see human beings mistreated. I am also marching for my daughter, to preserve her freedom to choose and be whatever she desires in this world and to not be impeded by draconian policies." — Lisa Keen Mills, West Lafayette

I want my elected officials to know:

"Too many of them get to sleep peacefully at night while making decisions that make children go hungry, that take away healthcare from the ill and dying and cause unspeakable tragedies and traumas to families. I hope they enjoyed it. That's all over now. If they don't have the guts to stand up to a fascist, if they don't have the conscience to lead them, we will become their conscience. We will be at every event they hold, we will call their office every day, we will apply pressure to the entities that lobby them, we come up with inventive forms of direct action." — Elizabeth Impossible, Indianapolis

"That millions of people across this country are prepared to fight and hold them accountable and to act for the people ­— all people." — Ginny Carroll, Indianapolis

"We are in danger with the climate, with women's rights, with racism, xenophobic views, his total disregard of middle class and poor, and his love of all the Goldman Sachs cronies, his dangerous ignorant choice of Sessions, Bannon, Pence, etc." — Kelly Jo Macy, Indianapolis

"I care about an inclusive government who considers all citizens without regard to ethnicity, race, religion, income level or sexual orientation." — Donna Reed, Fishers

"That women are not owned — we are a force to be reckoned with." — Tiffany Klemm, Mishawaka

"My eyes are on them and any moves to weaken or remove rights that should be guaranteed to all will be met with fierce resistance." — Lynn Diener, Goshen

"We want you to listen to us LGBTQ people, women, people of color, immigrants. We want you to listen hard and long to our concerns and stand up publicly against any legislation or policies that threatens our rights and well-being."— Laura Tetreault, Bloomington


"Women's rights are beneficial to all." — Rabbi Paula Winnig, Indianapolis

“I want our elected officials to know that we are not marching to protest President Elect Donald Trump's inauguration. We are marching to remind them that these are the faces and voices behind issues that deeply matter to us. And before they look to overturn laws that affect us, we want them to remember our faces and voices.” — Kate Anderson, Fishers

"They are responsible for the security and welfare and rights of all the people, not just the wealthy and the powerful and the privileged." — Tracy Parrish Wolfe, Carmel

"As leaders, we expect them to support women's rights. I support the ERA, CEDAW, paid maternity leave, laws against sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace, the recently renewed VAWA, efforts to keep single parent households headed by women out of poverty, Planned Parenthood, and greater enforcement against sex slavery and human trafficking." — Nikki Webb, Evansville

"That women of all walks of life are watching, are engaged, listening and will hold him (and those in Congress) accountable for what choices they make about our lives and our bodies." — Megan Cain, Indianapolis

"I'm taking my 11 year old daughter to show her what speaking up looks like and how valuable women's rights are. Women have made gains and we should not be going backwards. Hateful, abusive or harassing behavior to any woman should be called out and not tolerated. We cannot remain silent when hate is directed at any group based solely on their membership in a group: be it gender, race, religion, disability, heritage,sexual orientation or identity. To let the marginalized be attacked is to be complicit. For me this is a march against hate and for human kindness, respect and dignity. I also want our leaders and country to know that women's rights still matter and we will fight for them.

"I do not agree with hate and bigotry." ­ — Holly White, Greenwood

“I, and every other woman, is not a child! We do not need decisions about our health made for us!” — Rachael Smith, Markleville

A 2016 rally for women's rights at the Statehouse - MARK A. LEE
  • Mark A. Lee
  • A 2016 rally for women's rights at the Statehouse
"Trump's election is not a mandate for them to pass a radically conservative agenda. Oh, and I won't ever stop fighting." — Erin Murray, Indianapolis

"Our struggles with adversity is the birthplace for our determination." — Trisha Nicole Palencer, Indianapolis

"That women won't allow them to legislate our reproductive rights. That we will not allow the congress to strip Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. That we are watching him, his cabinet and Congress to prevent that from happening." — Linda Cummings, Oaklandon

"Women, people of color, LGBTQ+ and our allies will fight a regressive agenda." — Meg Elliott McLane, Indianapolis

"They don't scare me and they do not hold any power over me. They need to get to work solving problems and making this a better city/state/country for all of us." — Marsha Perkins Humphrey, Indianapolis

"We are stronger together and we will not go quietly into the night." — Vickie Harmon, Indianapolis

"That I won't sit quietly by while they strip the rights of people and spread their hateful message to the people of this country." — Vicky Hopkins, Connersville

"That we will not be silenced." — Rochelle Vega, Indianapolis

"Women vote and pay taxes and we won't back down." ­— Amy Terry, Orestes

"That I would rather pay for someone else's subsidized childcare and pre-k than their (or my own) tax cuts. That Planned Parenthood is a vital part of healthcare for women and reproductive choices." — Wendy Parker, Indianapolis

"I'm more than a baby maker." — Laken Richardson, Terre Haute

"That women are not aligning with the bloodthirsty hierarchy of the patriarchal arrangement any longer." — Sarah Catherine Davis, South Bend

"Woman have rights to equal work, equal pay." — Monica D. Sanders, Tipton

"You are better than this and must block Trump's attempts to change our country into one that represents him but not the American people." — Dawn Cole-Easterday, New Haven

"It is our elected officials' duty to listen and act on behalf of all their constituents, even if we did not vote for them." — Anastasia Pierce, West Terre Haute

"We WANT Affordable Health Care Act to be a single-payer system." — Julie O'Beirne, Decatur

"That their religious beliefs have absolutely no place in their decisions of policy-making." — Leanne McCormick, Indianapolis

"We will always fight for ourselves and our sisters." — Kelsey Hollis, Terre Haute

"The people are against Trump and the regressive, inhumane agenda of the GOP and they will be held accountable." — Elizabeth Brauer Allen, Valparaiso

A 2016 rally for women's rights at the Statehouse - MARK A. LEE
  • Mark A. Lee
  • A 2016 rally for women's rights at the Statehouse

"I am Marching for the Middle — middle America, middle of my state, middle class, even live in the middle of my cul-de-sac; I want to make sure those of us in the middle [are represented]." — Kimberly Hadley, Indianapolis

"That we will not stand by and let them dictate what we do with our bodies! Women are the reason they are even alive." — Linda Greybar, LaPorte

"We are paying closer attention than ever before." — Erin Ledyard, Crown Point

"It is my body and my choice; I work really hard so I should earn a salary commensurate with my experience and qualifications." — Laura Centeno-Diaz, Indianapolis

"You may not take away any of our rights that we have now. NONE!" — Monica Wehrle, Fort Wayne

After the march, I will:

"Be on the phone with state and national representatives, support my causes financially and politically, and read a variety of press sources so long as they are fact-based." — AP Robinson, Indianapolis

"Share the experience with my students, fellow teachers, friends, and everyone." — Debora Porter, Valparaiso

"Join with other Hoosier women to promote dignity and equal treatment under the law." — Amy Harrison, Brownsburg


"Work to make sure DJT is a one time president and that the others who supported him will not get my vote in future elections." — Grace Colette, Indianapolis

"Take my daughter to the Holocaust museum, to see what happens when people watch other's rights being stripped without standing up and speaking out." — Maria Danette Giacalone, Charlestown

"I am working with the Indiana chapter of NOW to start a Monroe County/Bloomington Chapter. We'll be receiving official chapter number from the national headquarters any day now. " — Laura Kathleen Collins, Bloomington

"Continue my advocacy at home, and teach my family what it means to live in this way." — Trisha Nicole Palencer, Indianapolis

"Continue to be a vocal advocate for what is right and fair." — Therese Cochran, Indianapolis

"Look for opportunities to elect candidates who will promote economic equality." — Jean Balaguras, Bloomington

"Become more involved in my township-level Democratic Party and continue to raise hell as necessary." — Amelia Miller, Indianapolis

"I will be vigilant and watch for proposed changes to federal agencies and to legislation that will impact women and their families in detrimental ways." — Victoria Gipson, Kendallville

“Continue pushing for protection of women's (and others') right and push for legislation against hate crimes in Indiana.” -- Kimberly Huber, Helmsburg

“Walk into my classroom knowing I was on the right side of history, while feeling deeper love and commitment to my students.” -- Sherry Annee, Indianapolis

A 2016 rally for women's rights at the Statehouse
  • A 2016 rally for women's rights at the Statehouse

"Continue to speak out, to encourage people to know their rights, and how to fight to protect those rights. I just found out that Bloomington is going to start a NOW chapter. I will be part of that movement. I will continue to be vocal. My undergrad degree is in history. I have always wondered, when watching shows such as Inglorious Basterds, or Man in the High Castle, or read books such as Diary of Anne Frank or the World War series by Harry Turtledove, what I would do if I were in those situations. I'm finding out that I would stand up and make my voice heard. It's a bit scary at times, but it's what needs to be done."  — Constance Bailey, Springville

"Continue the work. Stay awake. Keep calling. Keep organizing." — Angela Lyttle, Indianapolis

“Organize women in my community to act on state and federal legislative initiatives, and to help progressive women run for elected office.” — Julie Storbeck, Valparaiso

"Continue to be outspoken." — Beth Sayle, Speedway

"Continue to advocate for diversity and women's rights through various outlets." — Mona Kheiry, Carmel

"Do my best to continue to increase inclusion within all groups and populations in Indianapolis." — Dr. Kimberly Martin, Indianapolis



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