Voices in the crowd at the North Idaho Women’s March

By Lyndsie Kiebert
Reader Staff

Betsy Boyles attended the North Idaho Women’s March with a baby strapped to her chest, a fluorescent pink sign in her hand and a red ball cap on her head embroidered with white lettering: “Make America Great Again.”

Boyles said that though she hadn’t been at the event for long, so far everyone had been welcoming. Her pink sign donned the names of several women she was there to represent — Paula Jones, Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey and many more — all women who have accused Bill Clinton of rape and other sexual misconduct. All women who Boyles said are being silenced.

“Their voices deserve to be heard, too,” she said. “I want to bring that side into the equation as well. We don’t need to ignore what’s happening on the other side — whatever side you’re on, all these voices should be heard, and I think that’s something that a lot of women here would agree with.”

In its third year, the North Idaho Women’s March played host to a small handful of attendees like Boyles, looking to insert another perspective into the sea of pink hats. While more vocal opposition made itself known in years past, Saturday’s event took on a more mild tone.

Jim Healey stood at the back of the Sandpoint Middle School gymnasium, taking in the growing crowd.  He sported a T-shirt with a rainbow design reading: “Super-callous-fragile-racist-sexist-not-my-POTUS.”

“I think it’s important to be visible, and to — in this case — support women,” Healey said. “I think women are underrepresented in (several) aspects of the government, and this is my way of showing support.”

Grace Bauer carried a white sign reading “I’m With Her.” The horizontal line across the “H” in “Her” created an arrow, mimicking Hillary Clinton’s campaign logo, and the arrow pointed to a drawing of a female womb. Inside the womb, a fetus with a pink bow completed the message.

Bauer said she attended Saturday’s march to “put another opinion in the mix.”

“From what I’ve seen on the national scale, I don’t see that all opinions are represented, and especially unborn women, unborn children in general — I’m here to represent the unborn,” she said.

She pointed to a portion of the march’s program, handed out as soon as people entered the gym, which read, “This march is dedicated to all women whose voices are not being heard.”

“There are people who can’t speak for themselves,” Bauer said. “I think it’s especially important that we speak up for those women.”

Makayla Sundquist, 22, held a sign with only a few simple words written in black, inspired by when Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was asked how many women on the Supreme Court will be enough. Ginsburg said: “When there are nine.”

“If I want something to change, I have to be involved,” she said. “I hope that having younger people here, and being a young person here involved, that will move forward so future generations can come up believing that if they want change, they can make change.”

Sundquist said she believes there’s room for change in rural women’s access to healthcare, as well as in how women and men are judged differently in social situations.

“(I’m here) to celebrate women’s power and women’s strength,” she said. “I’m so excited to see all of these women here who believe in themselves and are using their voice.”

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