Over fifty people participated in the Smoky River Women’s March that took place on Saturday April 8.
The march was organized in response to two letters to the editor printed in the March 29 and April 5 Smoky River Express.
Organizers felt the letters expressed a demeaning view of women, of the work women do and the letters suggested that girls and young women make career choices based on such frivolous considerations as to avoid breaking their fingernails.
The letters were also disparaging of men who express their solidarity with the feminist movement.
However, the march focused on matters of respect and equal opportunity for women and girls. The spirit of the event was not one of negative protest but instead a show of solidarity, confidence and affirmation to counter negativity.
“I won’t lie; at the beginning I was super angry, my blood was boiling,” said Hillary Reid, organizer of the march. “I was angry, but in the end I almost laughed, I thought it is so funny because it is absolutely ridiculous.”
Speaking with her friend Cassandra who is an RN, the two women decided that something constructive needed to be done to counter the destructive message.
“We said we needed to change the negativity and make it positive and that’s what the march is, it’s just positive and that is the main objective today,” says Reid. “This is a peaceful walk showing Falher that we believe in our children, that they can be whoever and whatever they want to be.”
Reid also challenged the assumption that women have cushy jobs.
“I work in a school with the highest needs kids in my school and I am not afraid of breaking a nail,” says Reid. ”I may be done at 3.30pm everyday but I work very hard, my job is not cushy. Yes, I have an education and there is nothing wrong with that.”
The March began shortly after 1pm from the parking lot of the Falher Regional Recreation Complex taking the sidewalk along Main Street to the Express office and returning on the opposite sidewalk back towards the Arena.