Week of 1/22/18: Women’s March

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  • #2123

    Elan Isaacson
    Keymaster

    This week’s articles are “Women’s March 2018: Thousands of Protesters Take to the Streets by The New York Times and “Trump tweets support of Women’s March that’s also protesting…him” by Ray Sanchez and “The Women’s March Became a Movement. What’s Next?” by Susan Chira. These articles discuss the 2018 Women’s March and the public response and reception to the march. The articles also discuss the responses by various key politicians from both sides of the political spectrum. The third article discusses the Women’s March in conjunction with the #MeToo movement and its profound effects. What are your thoughts on the the articles? Do you support the Women’s March and the #MeToo movement? How do you expect these movements to continue? Come discuss on our forums with other HP MUNC members.

    Please keep all discussion civil.

    #2127

    As someone who attended the Women’s March on Saturday, I obviously support people’s First Amendment rights to assemble and voice their opinions. Similarly, the few pro-Trump, anti-protesters who gathered near Trump Tower have a right to have their opinions heard. I believe that the tens of thousands of protesters who gathered in NY alone, not to mention the other thousands more that marched across the country and across the world send a powerful message. I’m quite frankly impressed the movement continued for a year (it speaks volumes about just how unconventional Trump is). The theme this year was Power to the Polls. Considering this, I think the most important measure of success will be the number of liberals, and more specifically women, that are elected during the midterms this November.

    In terms of the Me Too movement, I support it entirely. This kind of open discussion about sexual harassment, abuse, and assault is long overdue. It’s message, while clearly linked to the women’s march, demands action beyond simple protest or even active participation in elections. The most powerful part of the Me Too movement is its potential to fuel conversations about sex and gender norms and ideas on how to change them.

    #2129

    Dylan J. Tulloch
    Participant

    I naturally support the right to freedom of assembly, speech, etc. However, I am confused by the goals of these Women’s Marches. I have two theories 1). The Women’s March is poorly named intentionally and is meant to be a liberal/anti-trump/socialist rally, or 2). The Women’s March was originally just for women to come together and express a female togetherness with no political message but then some leftists hijacked the event and proceeded to make it just a liberal/anti-trump/socialist rally. This is due to the intentional exclusion and prevented inclusion of certain pro-life women’s groups that wanted to join in the 2017 one, the false narrative that all women must follow these ideas otherwise they are not really women or don’t know better or whatever the lousy excuse is, and the presence of other issues that are not gender specific like immigration, islam (hilarious as sharia law is the opposite goal of most of these feminists and Americans in general) and abortion. Feel free to tell me which is right, I honestly don’t know.

    Personally, I really could care less about many of these kinds of protests except for when they result in funny videos on YouTube or when it devolves into a violent riot. Again, I support their right to speak, doesn’t mean I have to listen.

    My mother, who took part in both of these marches, asked me each time if I wanted to go with her to those marches. Each time I said no because I didn’t support the platform and even found many of the beliefs to be contradictory to my own. That doesn’t mean I hate women (my mother thought it did at first), it means that I have political differences with many of those marchers and thus would be marching against my own opinions if I went. I do not support DACA, yet for some reason my mother said that I should go to the Women’s march to support Mexican children my age. Hopefully you can see why I was a bit confused by this logic. Then it dawned on me, the Women’s March isn’t about women (see the beginning if clarification is needed).

    #2130

    Max Shiffman
    Participant

    Something incredibly sad I’ve noticed especially with the most recent election is how the potency of words is basically a thing of the past. Trump has been called things from sexist to fascist, both outlandish and very serious claims. And by that I don’t mean that they are wrong or silly, but instead that the weight those words should carry is immense and powerful, or it was. Speak of fascism in the 50s and people would understand how awful and insulting being a fascist could be. The Nazis, imperial japan, Italy (not sure what the fancy title for them is) all were oppressive governments that lent power to the world fascist and the implications of being called one. Now today in the modern age, words like racist and sexist are thrown around with such a lack of nuance that ultimately they are meaningless. Having an enjoyment of the English language (and only English) I often stop sometimes to think about words, especially such potent ones as sexist. Is what the person claiming sexist? Even if you don’t personally partake in the use of powerful words like sexist in everyday speech and regular insults you must still recognize the problem. Part of, at least in my opinion, the big contributing factor to an overlooking of sexist behavior and ideas is the fact that no one even understands what that is anymore. Of course everyone has some understanding. But the very word to mark an action as detestable is being overused to the point that people are becoming desensitized to the word. That is why Trump got away with saying and doing such awful things. When he said grab them by the ***** i’m sure everyone said “this is the end for Trump”. But deep down we all knew it wasn’t. People said he was infallible . And the reason barely anyone changed their mind about him was because of our overuse of language. “We would say how can you support him, he says such sexist things?” Well because all weight behind the word has been lost Trump was given a shield from our languages decline. I’ll leave a great video below on fascism and Trump. The same thinking can be applied to Trump.

    This is where I finally make my point. We have crisis to face now, one of language. Honestly I find it sad that a man who very clearly has some extreme biases and opinions on women should be allowed into the highest office (maybe not in multitude i’d have to check that one). Therefore it becomes pertinent that we start working to fix this. Step one: Use words correctly and sparingly. We need to add weight to our words again. Shouldn’t thousands of women and men marching and preaching that one man is sexist change at least someones mind? Make at least a few people think something might be amiss? The issue as I said is that no one understands the meaning of such words anymore.

    I don’t have a point two but I implore you all (or just Dylan since I bet he may end up the only one reading this) to think of something else in their personal life or in general that they can do to offset this change in our culture and language. Honestly this might be one of the first steps we should be taking to solve sexism. Giving the word and thereby the issue depth and meaning.

    Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mAG-0PKpgE
    Great article to highlight my point: http://orwell.ru/library/articles/As_I_Please/english/efasc

    I would also say that the #metoo movement is rather important since it lends meaning to statistics that lack a human aspect. I’m sure someone may claim that sexual assault isn’t a problem, yet if confronted by someone who was sexually assaulted they may change what they say. Same thing with supporting the unemployed. We may think they should just get a job, but if someone who was unemployed introduced themselves we may temporarily change what we say due to social pressure or understanding someone’s situation.

    #2131

    Zeyue Li
    Participant

    I thought March was cool and wanted to go, but didn’t end up going. I don’t think this is exactly the most productive way to protest Trump, considering there are women who do support Trump and their voices are drowned out in the march. Also, me too is cool, but also spreads a misconception about the extent of sexual assault, as sometimes innocent words are interpreted differently and therefore it really depends on the intended meaning/execution instead of just what someone hears. If I say yo but have an accent and it sounds like ho then I really didn’t intend to say that, but someone might interpret it as harassment, so moderation and careful consideration needs to be done.

    #2132

    Max Shiffman
    Participant

    I would agree, but i’m sure some people may interpret you point to be along the lines of ignoring the issue.

    #2134

    Zeyue Li
    Participant

    Here’s another example: Let’s say a guy is on a beach and sees a girl with a cool tattoo. It’s right above her breasts. He says, “Cool Tattoo!” She says, “Go away creep why are you looking at my breasts?” Is that sexual harassment? I don’t think so, but some may consider it to be, so I really believe it depends on the intent.

    As for the Women’s March, I think it’s great people are expressing their feelings. However, there’s like basically no chance Trump’s getting impeached: all 3 branches are republican rn and he’s already done many questionable things that have been explained away. (Honestly, I think it’s hilarious with Mike Pence a die-hard Christian having Trump as his President who has had an affair with a porn star like right after having a child and had a ton of different wives.) Although everyone is expressing their feelings, there’s a very minute chance anyone will actually listen, because Trump ends up doing whatever he wants anyways.

    #2142

    Sam Kovac
    Participant

    Max your comment is a bit rambley there. But, anyway, one of the few good things about Trump’s presidency is making Americans aware of how important their involvement in politics is. Hopefully Trump will scare the country into finally realizing that the executive branch has too many unrestricted powers (personally I don’t believe any president should have the authority to launch nuclear weapons without some restrictions or approval).

    As for the women’s march, I am glad women have an event to voice their concerns towards the president. However, like Dylan said, I doesn’t seem the march has a clear directive aside from bashing the president. Women today have the most rights they’ve ever had in American history, and Trump shouldn’t scare women into thinking those rights are in jeopardy.

    #2146

    Max Shiffman
    Participant

    That pence point was really clever and I never even thought about the irony in that situation.

    I would also like to say that the situation with how we teach dating and such could use some work. Like the way we teach nothing about dating is somewhat astounding. We talk about oversexualization of media, but what about like dating in general? I know we cover basic sexual relations in 9th grade health, use a condom and such. But like the boundaries of consent, and just how to appropriate act. I don’t know how to teach that, but the fact that people have to figure out with trial and error how things work. No wonder things happen where people aren’t on the same page. I don’t want to start a conversation on this but I know Aziz Ansari has been coming up in the news lately. I finally sat down to read the article and there is a small chance that he honestly never had experience reading social ques like that. I doubt this was true for him, but maybe another young man dealt with something that actually was a misunderstanding or lack of social que reading. Its really fu**ing hard to read people sometimes, especially with all those chemicals going off at once in your mind. I don’t want to defend anyone actions but perhaps saying the blame isn’t solely on men for being d*cks. Maybe some people just weren’t taught well enough. That by no means is an excuse for sexual assault, I expect everyone to take responsibility for their actions.

    On this note I really think dating needs and update. I can speak from personal experience that for a good chunk of middle school and parts of high school I would say I really wish I had a girlfriend or joke about how I would never get one. But I was listening to a podcast the other day and they were reflecting on the aziz ansari story and how romance worked as teens. How some of them, with personal lives at least a little related to my own. The spoke about the idea of acquiring a girlfriend which on reflection makes no sense. We shouldn’t be aiming to acquiring a relationship, but instead aim to have healthy bonds and date someone we enjoy spending time with. One of them mused how they were so caught up in a crush they failed to start a relationship with someone who really liked them because they were caught up in chasing someone else. They mused that they actually could have gotten the thing they wanted because they were too busy focusing on someone else and acted natural around this girl who was into them. I just thought it was rather interesting and made me reflect a little on past thoughts and years of my life. Only recently in life have I understood that sort of “just be yourself” dating advice. But I think the education of this sort of this really is bare minimum or bellow. Its kinda a luck of the draw thing. So of course so people don’t know how to read ques and non verbal signs. And maybe some people don’t know how to communicate effectively.
    Especially with the No Means no campaign. I would hope most people know this and respect this. But expecting two unique individuals to share the same ideas and boundaries is really stupid. Like honestly I would think most people agree that we are all unique and have different ideas. So maybe that area could use a little work too.

    #2147

    Max Shiffman
    Participant

    @dylan T @Sam Slovak (what auto correct suggested for your name and I found it funny)

    I would like to know if you went or watched a stream or something. I agree that I could not discern a purpose, but at the same time I know little of what happened at the march, maybe their was a clear focus.

    #2148

    Dylan J. Tulloch
    Participant

    Max I think that you spent most of the time arguing a separate topic on whether Trump is a fascist or not. Considering the government just shut down due to disagreement and the Democrats putting illegal immigrants over their own voters, I would be far from calling Trump a fascist. Not to say that you did, but when news outlets like CNN called Trump a fascist, many people said, “OK, you’re wrong,” and left the channel, not because the word lost meaning. If you doubt me, name one fascist from history that has supported his citizens’ right to self preservation through individual armament.

    I didn’t talk about the #MeToo movement because I don’t understand social media to begin with and think that it is stupid/waste-of-time/pointless/unnecessary/etc. Word of advice, do not consider me to be anything like the typical millennial (tech savvy, liberal, etc).

    If anything, this march has not been about actual victims of sexual assault. Very few people support rape, most people who commit it even acknowledge that it is wrong, but do it anyway. Most men will also agree that sexual abuse and assault is also wrong, but then there becomes the issue where men can have their life ruined because a woman screamed “rape.” For example, Kwadwo Bonsu, who went to UMass, was falsely accused by a girl of rape. As a result, he was given a series of restrictions despite a lack of evidence. This prevented him from attending other universities due to the accusation of rape and it stopped him from participating in many events and clubs at UMass like a jazz band. This is not an extreme case, men have killed themselves as a result of these false accusations that are way to prevalent on colleges. It becomes evident that both genders have issues when it comes to sexual assault, but only one seems to be able to speak up about it because, and this is true, feminist groups have shut down men’s rights events that wanted to talk about issues like this because of ‘sexism’.

    Either way, this march highlighted nothing, was mildly annoying towards a good part of the nation, and was immediately covered by the government shut down which is entirely the Democrats’ faults. Seriously, if they care so much about the American people and government, why won’t they let go of DACA?

    #2149

    OK Max, I’m sure your points are great, but I have a test to study for and so I’ll read them later. I’ll briefly respond the points about the goal of the March and the point Sam made about the rights of women.

    First, there are clearly many goals to the March. Protests about DACA, pro-choice expressions, support for LGBTQ+, etc all featured prominently. I don’t believe it dilutes the power of messages of opposition for people to band together.

    Secondly, while women undoubtedly have more rights right now that ever before, this doesn’t mean that they have equal rights, or that they do not face constant threat of a dismantlement of those rights. I believe that we must continue to push for equal pay, for access to health care services, and more because without action, we will revert to a world where women’s rights simply mattered less

    #2150

    Dylan J. Tulloch
    Participant

    I also think that the current idea of casual sex in our culture has made society worse off, especially for women. A few decades ago, the norm was that you had to marry in order to get sex. A couple decades ago, it changed into just a committed relationship. Recently, it has become common to have individuals run into each other at a party or bar and in a matter of hours after meeting engaging in sex. This notion devalues the action that is sex. No longer is there a sanctity in the concept of virginity that makes a woman or man purer, but instead it is now a burden that people strive to get rid of asap. Instead, many of these modern feminists consider themselves empowered because they can get sloppy drunk and wind up banging some random guy, you know, the stuff that heroes do.

    #2151

    Max Shiffman
    Participant

    THank you Julia, i’m sure you’ll have something interesting to say about my comments.

    And to Dylan either you didn’t read what I said or I just don’t articulate as good as I think I do. I used fascism as an example because I remembered that video I had seen and changed my argument around it. But honestly read that Orwell article and replace fascist with sexist. The same loss of meaning plagues that word too.

    #2152

    Max Shiffman
    Participant

    Ok Dylan that point on sex is just wrong. Like I get the base argument, but the inflammatory points you add to it devalue everything you might have tried to convey. Come on dude. Like having that point on sex was really good, like waiting and stuff. The idea of getting rid of virginity and stuff. But then BAM, you made it void almost by going overboard and arguing something much more fringe. That people shouldn’t have freedom to choose when and who they have sex with. Come on man, your better than this.

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