Why I wasn’t walking in the Women’s Marches | An Alternative View | Diana Diamond | Palo Alto Online |

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Why I wasn’t walking in the Women’s Marches

Uploaded: Jan 24, 2019
I have been a feminist for years – not the bra-burning type – but a strong advocate for women’s rights, equality in the workplace and in our country, and have ardently insisted that women should never be considered second-class citizens but become strong individuals. To quote a placard I saw, “Be Somebodies, not Somebody’s.”

Yet I have chosen the past three years, since the day after Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration, not to participate in the national and local women’s marches, because their messages were too mixed.

In 2016, the day after Trump’s inauguration, a half-million-plus women gathered in D.C. and locally, many wearing pink “pussy” hats, to ostensibly join together to object to Trump’s stance on many issues. A few of my Palo Alto friends were there to join the throngs, walk about and carry a sign or two. When they came back home, they spoke glowingly of the female camaraderie, the wonderful warmth exhibited by all, the “good” they felt because they had “done” something for women.

But I didn’t march because I thought the reasons for women participating were way too many and much too splintered. For example, there were women supporting abortion and opposing abortion, ditto for birth control; there were women attending because black women’s lives matter. Other women were there to support equal pay, family maternity leave, equal opportunity for advancement in the workplace and finally try harder to break the glass ceiling. The political left and right were there, sometimes marching against each other’s views.

And once the march ended, what message should I have drawn from this gathering? That women are important and thus a political force? That we have diverse views? I knew and know that.

The women’s marches were important, but very different from marching to end the Vietnam War, or marching for civil rights, or proclaiming that black lives matter. Those were cause efforts. Being part of a women’s group is not a cause that can be acted on politically, in my estimation.

In 2017 women still turned out to march, but to a lesser degree. The “Me too” movement on sexual abuse against women had become a big force, but not the entire subject of the march. The come-one-come-all theme prevailed, without a specific goal.

This year divisions began to erupt in this women’s march. Some were marching for immigration, but which specific part of the immigration problem? There were accusations in New York City that some of the leaders were anti-Semitic, and some splits began to occur among organizers. A couple of cities had two marches, which may be the beginning of women marching for causes.

I don’t mean to say all these marches weren’t a big happening. Trump has to realize women are a potential power force, although I can’t remember his acknowledging that. But the march awakened a lot of women to run for public office, and women supported them, and they won in extraordinary numbers, particularly in Congress and in state legislatures. That’s a marvelous outcome.

As we’ve learned, marches can influence leaders in our country – presidents, senators and congressmen, but more important, the voting public. Women should use their collective power to make things that we want happen, and marches can be an instrument to achieve our goals. Think 2020!

And yes, I am still a feminist.
What is democracy worth to you?
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Comments

 +   19 people like this
Posted by Home front, a resident of Charleston Gardens,
on Jan 24, 2019 at 9:37 pm

Apathy.

Congrats... You allowed perfection to be the enemy of Good.


 +   11 people like this
Posted by Miriam Palm, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Jan 27, 2019 at 12:40 pm

Miriam Palm is a registered user.

I agree that participating in marches, while a democratic right, is not everyone's cup of tea. I prefer to contribute my energies in other ways.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Jake from Stanford, a resident of Stanford,
on Jan 27, 2019 at 1:35 pm

[Post removed.]


 +   16 people like this
Posted by Marcher, a resident of another community,
on Jan 27, 2019 at 1:39 pm

In the last election we saw a surge in female candidates from diverse backgrounds and motivated to serve by diverse issues. The Women's March is about raising the female voice in so many places where it has been silenced or suppressed for so long. Sorry you don't get it.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Marching With A Cause, a resident of College Terrace,
on Jan 27, 2019 at 3:10 pm

[Post removed.]


 +   29 people like this
Posted by DIana Diamond, a resident of Midtown,
on Jan 27, 2019 at 3:53 pm

DIana Diamond is a registered user.

I had a 50-plus-year-old divorced male email me to say he was dating several women, trying to find a new mate, and some women bluntly tell him that if he didn't march alongside her in the Women's March, he must be a misogynist. This thing is going way overboard for some females, I think.


 +   11 people like this
Posted by Home front, a resident of Charleston Gardens,
on Jan 28, 2019 at 10:16 am

> This thing is going way overboard for some females, I think.

Giving credence to an anecdotal report from an unknown party via email might, by some, be said to be "going way overboard."

His accuracy or motives aside, one anecdotal report out of 7.5 billion people? Dude needs to expand his dating pool.


 +   14 people like this
Posted by women's rights supporter, a resident of Midtown,
on Jan 28, 2019 at 1:04 pm

Pointing out divisions or conflicts among women is a time-honored device for causing disagreement in our ranks.
You are not obligated to participate in a march, Diana, but emphasizing it is a real disservice.
The right wing doesn't let disagreements get in the way of unity.
As someone said above, You allowed perfection to be the enemy of Good.


 +   26 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Midtown,
on Jan 28, 2019 at 4:32 pm

It is pretty disturbing how what I call "moderate Democrats" are shamed and shouted down by the extreme collective anti-Trump collective of people who love to blame all their problems on "the president". The tone of these people sounds so radical, and Diana's post is merely an attempt to bring some specificity and rational thought into our discourse.
Clearly, such an approach is outdated. In my view, the "women's" march is not about females at all. It's about "I hate Trump" which explains the gathering of a potpourri of random people with various complaints.
The entire event is a display of 1. misandry (I hate man) and 2. "I hate one man and his name is Donald Trump and all that ever matters in the world is my hatred of one man". It's entirely shallow and ineffective, and I think that's what Diana was getting at with this post.


 +   19 people like this
Posted by True Liberal, a resident of Professorville,
on Jan 28, 2019 at 4:42 pm

The "Women's March" [portion removed]

By all means, march for women's rights, but not with that organization and not behind those vile characters.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jan 28, 2019 at 5:32 pm

Women have always been able to use their guile and sexuality to get what they want. The stores of Delilah and Potiphar's wife in the Bible, to various historical figures including Helen of Troy and Cleopatra, as well as countless fictional heroines, feminine dalliances have got women to what they want. Now it seems that the latest method is by women marching together as a sisterhood of whatever it is they feel they need to protest. However, the truth of the matter is that no matter how much they claim inequality there are still some who are able to benefit from being the mistress of the rich and famous to their advantage. [Portion removed.]


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Home front, a resident of Charleston Gardens,
on Jan 29, 2019 at 9:05 am

> Women have always been able to use their guile and sexuality to get what they want.

Yes! They used sex to get 70% of the pay men get! Proof! And look at the Fortune 500 - well over half the CEO's are women! More proof!

> The "Women's March" was a great idea, but was quickly hijacked by black separatists and islamic supremacists

Good Lord. Really? Even Fox didn't broadcast that bs. Extreme right infowars conspiracy?


 +   10 people like this
Posted by MidtownMama, a resident of Midtown,
on Jan 29, 2019 at 11:29 am

Movements are messy and imperfect, but I totally trust that the arch of history will bend toward justice. That is why I still march even in an imperfect movement. Democracy is sausage making - and yet we keep seeking to bridge our common cause - to save our democracy from malevolent forces outside this country who seek to sow distrust and animosity in our great country by helping elect an incompetent President. I march because I want to affirm the values of equality, fairness, justice and equal opportunity to everyone. These seemingly diverse movements - whether it's Black Lives Matters, women's right to have or not have an abortion, immigrant rights are ultimately all intertwined. To be an evolved feminist is to embrace the humanity of everyone. I fight for the full humanity of my son - that he and his buddies have the right to be soft and vulnerable, to be the caregivers, to not have to be the tough guy in every situation just as I fight for my daughter to expand her horizons and be strong and tough when she needs to be. That is why I march and i hope you'll join us in the next one - you'll love seeing the diversity and the true love of democracy that motivates most of us to march.


 +   9 people like this
Posted by Palo Alto person, a resident of Ventura,
on Jan 29, 2019 at 12:07 pm

Where did you get the idea that these marches needed to be focused on one particular message in order to be worthwhile, or powerful? More important than any single message or sign was the sheer numbers who turned out, all across the country and the globe.


 +   22 people like this
Posted by Oh, is that why?, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Jan 29, 2019 at 2:20 pm

Really sounds like a cop out.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Susan B, a resident of another community,
on Jan 30, 2019 at 2:03 pm

I was in a different place for the march. Thousands participated. The participants were committed: it was about 20 degrees and blowing with a blizzard forecast for the afternoon. There was nobody else there to see it. Yet it was a success. The march was for the marchers. They were energized and built community that will carryover into targeted activism to bring about change. The news coverage makes the whole community know about the renewed energy behind the movement.

Diana, next year you should join a march solely for what it does to your spirit. You don't need any other benefit.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Home front, a resident of Charleston Gardens,
on Jan 30, 2019 at 2:49 pm

Susan: thanks - you bring up good points, and the Womans March's role in kicking off the massive enthusiasm gap in the 2018 election cannot be discounted.

Y'all remember the election a few months ago?

House Seats - Popular Vote
Democratics: 60,727,598
Republicans: 50,983,895

That historic TEN Million vote spanking started with the Womans March, imo.

A change of 41 seats, the largest blue wave since Watergate (insert criminal comparisons here.)

The March wasn't perfect, but it was certainly GOOD!


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Zionist and Gender at death still Male!!, a resident of Charleston Gardens,
on Jan 30, 2019 at 6:40 pm

post removed


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Mark Weiss, a resident of Downtown North,
on Jan 31, 2019 at 11:28 am

Mark Weiss is a registered user.

Thanks for writing this.


 +   14 people like this
Posted by Points of order, a resident of Mountain View,
on Jan 31, 2019 at 12:04 pm

Diana, this is an interesting column but I wonder about a couple of details. First and most importantly -- and I've seen this before on your blog -- a couple of "comments" currently above consist only of

"Posted by Diana Diamond, a Palo Alto Online blogger,14 hours ago / Diana Diamond is a registered user"

-- but NO comment text. They are essentially blank, headed by your name. Were those mistakes? Comments whose content you later removed? Since you apparently have the ability to edit the comments, what purpose is served by leaving those ones visible with no actual text, leaving people wondering?

Secondly, I sometimes wish you'd assert your editorial prerogatives more, to control the snide or mocking tone of some of your commenters in lieu of reasoned argument ("Sorry you don't get it," " Extreme right infowars conspiracy?"). Past columns have descended into worsening counter-snipes until you shut down comments entirely-- when you could, instead, have chosen to manage them more actively as some bloggers do and thus keep the rhetoric from degenerating.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Home front, a resident of Charleston Gardens,
on Jan 31, 2019 at 12:22 pm

[post removed]


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Diana Diamond, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Jan 31, 2019 at 12:43 pm

Diana Diamond is a registered user.


Points of order --
You make some interesting coments, and thank you for your suggestions.

1) Occasionally you see my name without any comment. My mistake. I inadvertently pressed an 'Update" button when there was nothing posted and nothing to update.
2) As to commenting more strongly, I came from a newspaper background where letters to the editor were opportunities for all people to comment positively or negatively about what I had written. I had my chance; give others a chance was the working principle.
That being said, I certainly don't like when blogs begin to go off the wall or get ugly or racist or anything like that. Those I will edit as soon as I read them.
Different bloggers have different styles.

Thanks again for your comments!


 +   10 people like this
Posted by Home front, a resident of Charleston Gardens,
on Jan 31, 2019 at 2:19 pm

One notes that the second time the far-right lies about the woman's march were highlighted, they were removed.

Thank you. I enjoy your posts.


 +   16 people like this
Posted by Points of order, a resident of Mountain View,
on Jan 31, 2019 at 2:46 pm

Again we see demonstrated how the stubbornly opinionated -- those most in need of editorial control -- are always the least tolerant of such control. They can't abide their personal interpretation of reality being questioned for any reason, so they insistently reassert it. An example of the aggressive-commenter behavior I cited above that puts demands on the blogger-editor.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Physical Tea, a resident of Greater Miranda,
on Feb 1, 2019 at 2:52 pm

Correcting lies is now "personal interpretation of reality"? Is that like Kelly Anne Conway's "Alternate Facts"?

"stubbornly opinionated" sure seems more like projection.


 +   7 people like this
Posted by Mother knows all, a resident of Atherton,
on Feb 1, 2019 at 4:30 pm

Sounds like both are stubborn. One is interested in facts, the other has opinions about facts.

Add in the fact that folks with write things anonymously that they would never say face to face.

demonstrato: ....how the stubbornly opinionated -- those most in need of editorial control -- are always the least tolerant of such control. They can't abide their personal interpretation of reality being questioned for any reason, so they insistently reassert it


 +   3 people like this
Posted by MidtownMama, a resident of Midtown,
on Feb 6, 2019 at 11:40 pm

Having a women's march that is inclusive of racial justice issues (like Black Lives Matter) is an example of evolved movement building. Let's not make the same mistakes that allowed the emancipation of women and African Americans to be exclusive of one another. A recent NYTimes article entitled, "When the Suffrage Movement Sold Out to White Supremacy" provides some of the history of this tragedy. We should make new mistakes.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Pietro sc, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis,
on Feb 7, 2019 at 5:31 pm

Mama & Mother: agree with both of you.

+1


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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