The recent Women’s March on Washington (Left Photo) – which included men, women and children- was categorized by some as, “one of the largest and most significant demonstrations for social justice in America’s 240-year history.”
Taking It to the Streets
More than 5 million people around the world took to the streets in peaceful demonstrations on all seven continents, launching a new movement for human rights, women’s rights and justice.
In many areas – such as Lexington, KY (Right Photo) and Austin, Tx – were some of the largest marches in those areas in history! Bonn, Germany even enjoyed many participants! Although I did not agree with everything and every word or “thought” chosen, I did appreciate those who stood up for such things, as – equal rights, equal pay for equal work; quality education, more healthcare, gunsense laws; and against white privilege (as experienced by many), sexual harassment, and more. I am a praying woman who also believes in advocacy. I don’t think they are mutually exclusive. We need both!
I don’t think we have to attend every march, but it’s awesome to be able to visit our capitol in our states and sometimes in Washington, DC to personally share our issues and request support. I also recognize that everyone isn’t always able to do that, but we should be able to write letters, email and or call our Elected officials. We can all do something and we must each do our share to make this country better whether it’s helping to feed the hungry, joining your local Parent Teacher Association (PTA), giving blood to the American Red Cross, mentoring youth, learning about different cultures, etc. This outreach marches our country forward, faster.
One blog I read ie, Nasty Woman, spoke positively on prayer but also criticized marching (for herself) as well as what some of the women wore on their heads representing “their” private organs. I believe in the power of prayer and the power of protest. God, gives us the strength to use our voices in multiple ways. Praying is important, but I don’t think our work stops there. Prayer requires faith and as is stated in James 2, “Faith without works is dead.” Unity is a beautiful and powerful tool when coupled with fervent prayer. To see people of different faiths work together to try to right wrongs peacefully, and make our country what it needs to be- is awesome!
Even though, what some of them wore on their heads was not my preference, I choose not to criticize what didn’t symbolize hate, because I am ever so mindful of my foreparents who had to be concerned of the white sheets that some wore on their heads that very much symbolized hate by those who threatened my fore parents lives, those who supported equality and our democracy. If I were to criticize the marchers for some of that blogger’s reasons, I would first criticize the many publications that show nude pictures of women exploited for others’ lust and displaying them as sex objects. I would criticize those who purchase them and pose in them- including our current first lady Trump.
I am grateful there is room for various viewpoints, prototypes of protest and forms of poetic expression. We also should expect more from our presidential candidates. During a debate*, Trump referred to Clinton as a “nasty woman” even though no man has ever described another man as such in a presidential debate. (Additionally, it is he who has been sued multiple times for nasty or unwanted sexual behavior.) Some of the speakers at the march such as actress and advocate, Ashley Judd– who attended University of Kentucky in our Bluegrass State and high school in our area-recited a poem written by 19 year old, Nina Donovan, of Tennessee saying, “I am not as nasty as racism, fraud, conflict of interest, homophobia, sexual assault, transphobia, white supremacy, misogyny, ignorance and white privilege.“
Some folks criticized some of the content and word usage in her presentation, even though many didn’t seem to criticize the person originally using some of those very words and still elected him to the highest office of the land. So, an actress and a student can’t say it, but the person some elected to the highest office of our country-can. The tape aired of Trump using some of this language basically describing himself committing sexual assault, was especially telling because of prior sexual harassment/assault lawsuits or reports over a span of years as noted above and even recently. (*Clinton also had referred to some Trump supporters as “deplorables”, for which she later clarified and apologized for over generalizing and added, “I won’t stop calling out bigotry and racist rhetoric in this campaign.”)
How Do We Move Forward?
The question still remains for some, “How do we move forward with this much history, hurt and distrust that have not been resolved? In addition to God telling us to pray, He also instructs us to confess and repent. We can’t change America until we ourselves are changed.
- We can make needed changes when we confess our negative role in our lives or our world. We then can allow ourselves to truly feel badly enough for that role, that we decide we will try to do better. We must also forgive ourselves for our roles as well as forgive others.
- We must be more inclusive and show in our actions that we recognize that all people need access to survival.
- We must care about all of our citizens and not just force half the country to live the way the other half dictates.
- We must respect each other’s constructive and inclusive beliefs, families, rights, cultures, privacy and more, if we are to be truly united.
- Let’s get rid of the nasty labels. I am mindful of Janet Jackson’s hit where she proclaims, “No my first name ain’t baby, It’s Janet -Miss Jackson if you’re nasty!” I think, we should be respectful in what we call one another as well as what we call ourselves. But the power to define yourself for yourself is a privilege we all have and your actions should reflect what you say you believe. This helps us to march forward wherever we are to get to where we need to be.