UPDATE: I wrote this approximately a year ago. The Democrat Congresswomen have chosen to wear black to symbolically protest sexual harassment. Again, while a worthy cause, I STILL must ask "Where were they before?" AND NOW I also must continue to ask, "Why are they not pressuring Congress to revisit the ERA that only needs a few states to pass?" Instead of wearing "costumes" ladies, why not actually attempt to DO something while you are in a position to do so? We'll be over here waiting on you to do so.....but not holding our breath.
Where Were They BEFORE?
It is now approximately 50+ days into President Donald Trump’s administration and I’m struck by something that apparently no one else has noticed—or perhaps dared to vocalize before. The idea has me riled up, frankly, so I decided to blog about it today.
We’re seeing many women wearing white and purple in protest of the “policies against women” mirroring the colors worn by the suffragettes of the early 20th century who stood like Silent Sentinels and endured unimagined abuses to gain passage of the 19th Amendment. So, where were these 21st century lawmaking women in white BEFORE? Why have they not been pushing for the passage of the ERA to ensure CONSTITUTIONAL equality under the law (especially when they had a Democratic Congress and Democratic President)? We are one of the only industrialized nations where our women are NOT Constitutionally protected, yet we set about ensuring any new democracy we aid DOES put women into their governing documents. Having Supreme Court rulings is not enough—they’re too easily overturned. Yet, these harpies in white as I’ve begun to call them do not fight the good fight for women. They use women as political fodder and, frankly, I’m DONE with that. The ERA matters. IF they want to pick up that charge, I’m all in with them, but until they do, it’s political grandstanding with no substance and that is NOT ok.
We’re seeing women protesting in all manner of horrific outfits mimicking women’s “private areas” to ensure that they are not “discriminated against” or that rape culture doesn’t prevail. While the cause is just, where were they 65 days ago? Why were they not protesting music with abusive themes or the gang rape advertisement of Dolce and Gabbana (or the many other advertisers)? Watch the movie “Miss Representation” and you’ll be STUNNED about the abysmal message we’re sending our daughters. Where were these protestors a year ago? Ten years ago? Twenty years ago? Why were they not outraged over other things that happened BEFORE January 20th?
People are lining up to protest which restroom to use or whether men in a dress can enter a woman’s changing room in a public mall. They say this is vital to our culture….but transgendered individuals have been around for a very long time. I can GUARANTEE that I’ve used the same restrooms as transgendered people before the past few weeks. Why were you not working toward this five years ago? Ten years ago? Were you on the front lines in the AIDS epidemic in the Reagan years? I was. During the time when we didn’t know the transmission methodology other than “bloodborne” I was there, working in a medical science lab working with AIDS patients’ blood. SO, again…..I must ask, where were YOU three years ago? What about ten years ago? During the Reagan years? Why are you not asking for this language to be added to the ERA and force its passage?
Let’s move to climate. Climate change is important. We may disagree on causality, but one thing is certain. We only have ONE world, folks, and we must care for it as if it were our dearest friend. Despite this, climate abuses have occurred all over the world unchecked. Can you not look at the massive pollution photos of CHINA and see this? THAT is just as important as the USA (I would argue more), but where is the outrage? We are told to be global citizens, but suddenly in the past 50+ days, this has become “more important than ever.” What about states? Where were you California citizens when no one was fixing the Oroville Dam spillway? It was clearly evident that it wasn’t being done, and the paper trail proves it. Why was no one demanding answers? Both the environment and the citizens were unnecessarily put at massive risk during this misappropriation of funding, yet it wasn’t until now that we see outrage. Now that it’s out, why are the Berkeley protestors not protesting THIS type of abuse of power? This is vital! Where were these citizens during the times the denials of maintenance were being made and how many more environmental disasters are waiting to happen in California over mismanaged funds? What about abuses of funding your home state?
We are seeing a huge uptick in the idea that anything that can be wrong in our society is suddenly protest worthy because a new administration is in the White House. This has me very confused because these issues did not magically appear in the past 50+ days, and they’d have been there if Hillary or any other candidate had won. WOULD you have been in the streets protesting if someone else had been in the driver’s seat? You should have ALREADY been fighting for many of these causes, but I daresay you wouldn’t have been making this ruckus. I say this not out of any support for the current administration, but rather because the current administration has put a beacon on this issue for me.
Where have all these protestors been all these years leading up to these past 50+ days? Seems to me they’ve been collectively ignoring things until instructed to be outraged. Then, they dutifully stepped into line.
Now, I realize there are those like myself who HAVE been out there working on the project or two that speaks to you the most, but sadly that is not the BULK of these screaming harpie protestors. They seem honestly clueless as to why they are out there. Good grief, one of them even said in an independent interview that she’d personally spoken to “Sitting Bull” over this pipeline protest (through her psychic one would have to assume). Now granted, this was not a CNN interview, but what if she was SERIOUS? Where was SHE all this time? Clearly, she was not in a history class.
Look at yourselves honestly folks. This mess did NOT begin on January 20th no matter how much you were derailed by the election outcome. The election itself is NOT the issue at all, frankly. The issue is that THESE things did not magically appear overnight and we must all take ownership of the fact that they are here at all. Hold your representatives feet to the fire, absolutely, but don’t become a useless member of the pussy hat brigade or go talk to Sitting Bull with your psychic, or allow ANYONE to be accosted in a public restroom. WORK SMARTER!
Therefore, I issue this challenge to ALL of you to “be the change” you wish to see. Put your polemics aside and take up at least ONE cross you want to bear and bear it well. Do your research—don’t rely on any talking heads or celebrities to tell you what to believe. Challenge those things wrong in our society and deliberately SEEK THE COMMON GROUND on which we can build a solution. We won’t always agree….that would be statistically unlikely. However, we CAN learn that tolerance goes both ways. However, tolerance for foolishness and reactionary protests is NOT helping the overall causes moving forward. Therefore, I’m choosing to further my passions on opportunities in rural Appalachia and the passage of the ERA today—one local/one national. I hope you do the same.
Alice Paul a mastermind suffragette that suffered greatly for the 19th Amendment said, “The movement is a sort of mosaic. Each of us puts in one little stone, and then you get a great mosaic at the end." How will you work smarter with YOUR stone in the mosaic?