Ashley Judd Speech
February 16, 2017
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Pink hats and cardboard signs decorate the space above impassioned faces huddled together against the cold, all awaiting one woman to appear onstage and voice their cries of injustice and yearn for change. Every person of every color, body type, age, size, sexuality, and place of origin can be found in this crowd, and they all have assembled in the capital of the United States to let their distaste for the state of our union be heard.
Angry, bold letters and political cartoons are plastered for miles around national monuments, and do not end here. Protesters have come from all around the world to join the Women’s March, and now the crowd is restless with anticipation to hear what guest speaker, Ashley Judd, will say. Expectations are high, and as Judd walks onstage with a fiery passion in her eyes, the thousands of people awaiting her speech know they will not be disappointed.
Judd, an actress, stands upon her platform and delivers a poem written by a 19 year old about the injustices of our government thus far. She writes of blatant sexism and racism in the job industry, the wrong and perverted way women are objectified, even by our current president, and pleads for justice to those who can do something about it. Her words are powerful, and as Judd’s voice cracks with the heavy weight of the words she has memorized, chills are sent down my spine.
“I didn’t know devils could be resurrected, but I feel Hitler in these streets. A mustache traded for a toupee, Nazis renamed The Cabinet, electro-conversion therapy the new gas chamber; shaming the gay out of America, turning rainbows into suicide notes.” Without hesitation, Judd draws parallels between the fascist regime of Hitler and the way the American government is spearheaded right now, and as the innumerable people watching her in the crowd below let out sounds of praise and rejoice, it becomes strikingly evident that she is not alone in that sentiment.
- I praise Ashley Judd for risking persecution given her position in the limelight and social media standing, because what everyone needs right now is someone who has a platform to use that platform for good. Though the words were not her own, her obvious passion for the words she was preaching might as well have made that poem gospel. Judd threw caution to the wind, even calling out fellow actress Scarlett Johansson for being a hypocrite and practicing “white feminism.” The rhythm and meter of such powerful words made them easy to believe, even if only for seven minutes. However, with the way the people in that crowd responded, I know they hit home for a lifetime.