In yesterday's Fort Wayne Journal Gazette our very own Emily Hollenberg wrote this wonderful response. Great job, Emily! Keep preaching, sister.
‘Threatened’ by protest? Mission accomplished
In response to “Ladies don’t protest as Madonna did (David McKeeman Sr., Feb. 5)”:
On Jan. 21, 3.3 million women – and men – gathered in the world’s largest protest. Marches were spread across nearly 500 cities in the United States and all seven continents. Besides the staggering number who came out to support women’s and minority rights, there was one more key fact. There was not a single arrest, nor was there a single instance of destruction of property. That makes the world’s largest march the world’s most peaceful march. So when I read that this gathering of “radicalized” people is an embarrassment to my gender, I feel I’m missing something.
What is an embarrassment to me is that one in four women will be raped in their lifetime, and that men still make more than women more than 40 years after the Equal Pay Act. (We must also factor in race; white women make more than black men currently.) It is an embarrassment that our country has fewer women in government than any other First World country. It is an embarrassment that women are written out of history. But the word I’m looking for is not “embarrassment.” The word I want to use is “outrage.” And what did 3.3 million “radicalized” people do with centuries of outrage? They protested peacefully.
To create change, we cannot be silent and stand by. When women wanted the right to vote, we were loud. It is nice to believe that we live in a world where if we simply ask, we will be granted rights, but that is not the world men have created. When you say that we need to conduct ourselves as ladies when we protest, what you really say is: Please protest in a way that keeps me comfortable. You are policing us as men have policed us for centuries, and we are done with it.
So it really is remarkable how peaceful the protest was, considering all that we protested for. In fact, our protest was not threatening. We came together in force to get our point across – that we are women, that we are here to stay, and that we will be heard and not written off. What Madonna said was threatening. I do not agree with everything she said, but her overall message was clear: Women are here, we are not leaving and we will not stand idly by. Protests should be peaceful, but they should also be threatening. Protests serve as a reminder that we will not stand for what is being done to us. I’m glad Madonna made you uncomfortable because in this equation, as a man, you have all the power. We are not taking your power away. We are getting the power we always should have had. And to you, that is quite threatening.
It should be.