Lexington women’s march celebrates recent political gains


Citizens gathered at the Fayette County courthouse to express opinions and march for the National Organization for Women on January 19, 2019. Photo by Sydney Carter | Staff

Emily Laytham

Despite harsh wind and pouring rain, a crowd of sign-toting marchers gathered before the Fayette County Courthouse on Saturday afternoon.

The marchers braved the weather to support the third annual Women’s March, organized by the Kentucky National Organization for Women.

Several activists and politicians addressed the crowd before the march. Many of the speakers celebrated political gains for women in 2018, such as a new women-led caucus in Kentucky’s House of Representatives.

“Those men won’t know what to do, y’all,” State Representative Attica Scott said to the crowd. “But it don’t matter; we’ll show them the way.”

In her speech, Scott encouraged voter participation and rallied for women’s continued progress in 2019.

“It’s so important to me as a legislator to make it clear to people across Kentucky that women’s rights are human rights, that we matter, that we’re important,” Scott told the Kernel after her speech. “I mean, we hold up half the earth.”

Other speakers, such as Folk Singer Carla Gover, mentioned the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh, who was investigated by the U.S. Senate for multiple sexual assault allegations before being appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Gover said she was very affected by Kavanaugh’s appointment. This influenced her choice to perform Peggy Seeger’s “B-Side,” from the album “Period Pieces: Songs From Women’s Mvt for Men.”

“Men, watch out / There’s dangerous women about / Boys, beware / There’s violent females everywhere,” Gover sang.

Several UK students attended the march for their own reasons.

Haley Hintz, a freshman political science major, said she went for a sense of camaraderie.

“It’s really inspiring to be around people who have the same goals as you,” Hintz said. “And who want to see the same change in society, and in Lexington.”

Rachele Cafazo, a junior nursing and neuroscience major, said the march’s diversity was a strong appeal for her.

“I think it’s great to see a bunch of people from all different backgrounds, not even just women, but women and men, all different races, all different religions, coming together,” Cafazo said.

Race and inclusivity were focuses for several speakers, including Denise Gray, an African-American teacher who ran for Kentucky’s 28th Senate District as a Democrat in 2018.

“I stepped up for my students, who needed to see someone that looked like them, that came from the same neighborhood, to make a difference, to show them what’s possible,” Gray told the crowd. 

All speakers agreed that the time to act for women’s equality is now.

“Women, in 2019, we will show that our agenda matters,” Scott said to the crowd of supporters and umbrellas. “And no matter what those folks in Frankfort try to do, in passing unconstitutional laws to overturn Roe v. Wade… we will not have it, no!”