On Tuesday, November 8, women across campus gathered on the Campus Center patio, some clad in pantsuits, some in lab goggles, and some in art smocks, in order to prove that women belong in any field, up to and including the White House. This event was organized through a Facebook event by students Alex Schoen and Hannah Yarbrough. Inspired by the group Pantsuit Nation, the event was titled “Women Belong In…” and encouraged female students to dress in the clothing of any profession “to show that women belong anywhere they set their minds to.” Pantsuit Nation was created by a group of women in support of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s campaign for President, while also providing a platform to discuss her opponent’s views of women.
When asked about the event, Schoen expressed a small amount of shock, but a lot of gratitude for the turnout, explaining that when they planned it, they only expected their friends to turn out. Schoen said that in the midst of discussions and arguments prior to the election, “No matter which side you’re on, everyone has been saying nasty things about women.” She explained that she wanted this event to be “for individuals, but also for women to support each other.”
It was only fitting that this event took place on Election Day, as citizens across the country went to the polls to cast their votes for the first female candidate from a major political party in American history. Regardless of the results, Hillary Clinton’s journey towards the White House was empowering for people all over the nation and the world.
“The only person who can decide where you want to be in life is you.”
Schoen says that women “have faced backlash regarding their aspirations” and she believes that something as small as dressing in a pantsuit is a sign of solidarity with other women, as they strive to prove that women belong in any field, from STEM to art, from business to the classroom, and even the White House. When asked what message she wanted to send by organizing this event and bringing the Pantsuit Nation campaign to St. Mary’s campus, Schoen answered, “The only person who can decide where you want to be in life is you.”