The Orion

Women on Reproductive Defense stand against inequality

A painting of President Donald Trump on display at the Woman's March 2018 at the Downtown Plaza in Chico. Photo credit: Hannah Yeager

A painting of President Donald Trump on display at the Woman's March 2018 at the Downtown Plaza in Chico. Photo credit: Hannah Yeager

Hannah Yeager

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The Women’s March this year had an impressive turn out, with a couple hundred supporters moving in and out of Chico throughout the day.

One sign, in particular, was very popular. This sign has a painting of President Donald Trump with devil horns.

This painting was an attempt to heal wounds caused by words Trump has said that have made some women, and people in general, feel offended.

Sandra Scholten, a member of both Mobilize Chico, Women on Reproductive Defense and an administrator for Chico State’s Biological Sciences Department, came across the painting of Trump with the words “this is the real sh**hole” written across the bottom.

“I just happened upon that Trump painting on the Mobilize website,” Scholten said. “Someone had made it, an artist had made it, and she couldn’t stand having it around her house anymore. She had posted asking if anyone wanted it and I was like, ‘yeah I think I have to have it.’”

Starting in August, in order to spread this form of therapy, Scholten brought up an idea to WORD. The idea was to have people write phrases or words on sticky notes to paste on the painting, like word bubbles by Trump’s mouth.

“We had come up with this idea of word bubbles but then it just became easier to use Post-it notes,” Scholten said. “I believe they used it at Pride last year and it became just therapeutic.”

Scholten felt that the act of putting words that people wanted to say to the current president on this painting was like therapy for women who felt beaten down by the things he has said, according to Scholten.

She kept every sticky note that was put on there as kind of an archive of how people felt.

“Again, I feel like it is therapeutic,” Scholten said. “People are grieving a little bit for whatever values are being attacked. Nobody is safe, even if they don’t know it, nobody is safe.”

According to the WORD website, the organization is focused on a few main issues: access to safe, legal abortions and birth control, closing the wage gap, stopping the budget cuts and, ultimately, equality and respect.

Allowing the women at the Women’s March, the Pride event and other events post the words they wish they could say and the words that have hurt them, gave these women some form of power, according to Scholten.

“We most rarely feel like we have a voice,” Scholten said. “It may not feel like you are doing something but at least you are purging.”

Most college students feel like the campus is their community and tend to forget about the rest of Chico around them. Scholten emphasizes that it’s important to be involved in the community, even if you are only in it for a short time.

“I was just a student here, I moved to Chico,” Scholten said. “I know that my world was within an eight-block radius of the school and going to East Avenue was the other side of the planet. It was not a part of the world and it is easy to feel like this is just your community, but there is a lot going on around you.”

Hannah Yeager can be reached at [email protected] or @Hannah_K_Yeager on Twitter.

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Women on Reproductive Defense stand against inequality