Which pussy, its hour come round at last, marches in the streets, slouching towards Washington, D.C. to get even?
Pussies of all colors and undefinable genders.
This is not “The Second Coming” that W.B.Yeats had in mind in his famous poem. It’s the Second Coming of America’s feminist movement, and it already has a buzzword that has been worn out by the media: Intersectionality.
That would be the intersection of white, privileged feminism (all white feminists are privileged according to this interpretation) and race, poverty, gender equality – whatever the gender. Expect a few more new genders before Donald Trump’s presidential term is up.
Margaret Jacobsen, the black woman who was tapped to lead the Portland Women’s March when there were objections to white organizers, prefers gender-neutral pronouns. In her world, she is a “they” not a “she.” Since I prefer straightforward language, I call her a “she.”
Jacobsen was brought in after the NAACP and others complained that the white organizers were racist because they wanted to focus on women’s rights instead of pursuing other political issues, such as Black Lives Matter. (The most complete news story I have read on the background of divisions in the Portland Women’s March was in the Portland Tribune.)
Nationally, black activists seized on the women’s marches as a way to hang on to power now that America’s first black president has left office. (Never mind that Barack Obama owed his victory just as much to white voters as black.)
The New York Times offered prime space on its op-ed page to black writer Lori Adelman from the website, Feministing, to explain how the women’s marches could resurrect the Democratic Party.
Both major parties need to be resurrected. The Democratic Party’s resurrection will not be helped by Black Lives Matter. Some black lives are lost through criminal behavior that cannot be blamed on police. This is a hard truth that the public will not ignore, no matter how much writers like Jacobsen and Adelman may want.
The women’s marches across the country attracted hundreds of thousands of participants – maybe a few million – as well as celebrities like Gloria Steinem, Ashley Judd and Scarlett Johannsen (I can just hear Donald Trump: “Is she still hot?” I can also hear the outrageous indignation of women everywhere, who are probably also checking photos to see if Johannsen is in fact still hot, perhaps hoping that she isn’t).
The controversy over race brought more publicity to the marches than would have otherwise been generated. I attended the Portland Women’s March.
“Just like New Year’s Eve!” said a young woman, standing in the aisle of a packed TriMet bus on the way to the march.
The little girl sitting next to me, who looked to be about 10, showed us her sign: “Equality for the Future.”
We praised her for it.
“They’re even marching in Antarctica,” said another rider.
Americans can turn anything into a trend – and have fun while doing so.
Thus it is so far with the Trump Revolution and marching.
Americans can also turn anything into an excuse to sell or buy.
“Grab Him By The BALLS!” read a restaurant ad in two of Portland’s alternative weekly newspapers. Readers who brought in the ad on Inauguration Day, with a description of how they planned to defeat Trump, would receive “free balls” – two free sliders per person.
Portland’s parade was a sheep-like affair. The route was at least 1.3 miles long, and with estimates ranging from 35,000 persons to 100,000 (the latter seemed way too high), there wasn’t a lot of room to move. Mostly we stood in place for about an hour and a half.
Fortunately, I could not hear or see the stage from my spot in the crowd on Naito Parkway. I did not have to hear any speechifying by the likes of Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-Portland), who has a comfortable congressional seat for life and has done nothing except make a name for his bow-tie fashions.
Occasionally, though, a cheer would roll through the crowd coming from the direction of the stage.
“What is everyone cheering?” I asked a woman who was whooping it up.
“I don’t know.”
Later, when another cheer rolled over the crowd most everyone joined in – the way people will laugh at a joke they haven’t really heard.
“I think a dignitary spoke,” another woman said.
If the home-made signs people brought are any indication, this revolution is built on hoped-for ratings.
“Grab his Putin” … “The only person grabbing my pussy is my wife. Suck on that Mr. Pence.” These amusing signs were a play on Trump’s boast from 12 years ago: “(W)hen you’re a star, they let you do it. … Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.” He was speaking from experience. What does it say about those women who let him, and why didn’t they complain years ago? Why complain now?
“Never Again.” This sign was accompanied by a drawing of a coat hangar with a slash over it. I was a young woman when Ronald Reagan was elected president, and I remember the same fear then. It didn’t materialize. How many Republicans say they oppose abortion to appease the religious right, while their daughters and wives privately urge them to leave it alone? Both parties should find common ground to encourage birth control – environmental, public safety and economic issues are all impacted by overpopulation and unwanted pregnancies. Yet even Hillary Clinton once made apologies for abortion saying it should be “rare.”
Another sign: “The Only Minority Destroying America is the Rich.” Really? This is also the only minority everyone wants to belong to.
“Health Care is a Human Right. Everybody In, Nobody Out.” I liked this sign. Obamacare did not work for me. Nor has it worked for my sister-in-law who is Native American. She used to have an Indian Card and went to the Chemawa clinic in Kaiser, Ore., but Obamacare required her to purchase insurance or be on the Oregon Health Plan, which she doesn’t qualify for.
While I didn’t see this sign myself, I saw a photo of it on one of the news websites: “Brains are the New Tits.”
Is that supposed to be an insult to men or women or Trump? How many women, earning their own incomes, have chosen to make breast enlargement one of the most popular elective surgeries? President John F. Kennedy played around with women like Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield, among others, but he married a flat-chested brunette who studied at the Sorbonne. If Trump prefers a good body to a fine mind, no amount of marching will change that.
My favorite sign was a boring one: “Make Democracy Work Again.”
This one also spoke to me: “White Silence is Violence.”
I don’t know who carried that sign, but I’m doing my part not to remain silent.
– Pamela Fitzsimmons
From the archives:
Remember a certain black presidential candidate accused of taking liberties?