Christine Hupman thought the button on her shirt summed it up nicely -- "Feminism is the radical notion that women are people."
She was one of approximately 100 marchers who walked last night from the Wyman Park Dell through Charles Village to protest violence against women in general, and the decision by Baltimore County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Bollinger who freed a convicted rapist.
Last night's march in Baltimore followed a similar demonstration in Towson six hours earlier.
Ms. Hupman, a member of the Baltimore chapter of the National Organization of Women, said many women "are feeling tremendous frustration about how we are viewed and about the judicial system.
"As a classic example recently, a Carroll County woman [Pamela Snowhite Davis] who had less than an ounce of pot received a jail sentence of two years, while Bollinger set this man free who raped an 18-year-old woman who was intoxicated and unconscious," Ms. Hupman said.
The protesters, made up mostly of women but including men and an infant being pushed in a stroller, walked from the park south on Charles Street, east on 25th Street, north on St. Paul Street and across 33rd Street and down Charles again to meet at the park. There several woman addressed the growing issue of violence directed at women.
"Take back the night, the time is here," the demonstrators chanted.
Kathy Vandenbulk is a Baltimore-area computer service manager and a NOW member. She said last night's action was planned before the Bollinger verdict, but that it took on greater meaning after the judge freed the rapist on probation before judgment.
"Our initial message was, 'Take back the streets,' but after Bollinger's decision, our phones just rang and rang," she said. "People wanted to know if he could be impeached.
"And it wasn't entirely lost on lots of people that he made his decision this month of April . . . Rape Awareness Month."