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Self-Mutilation of the Majority

da47274618e8904d435e29d16f9cb3c8I debated going to Washington for the Womens March today but for one reason or another, I decided to stay in Pittsburgh and go to the local Sister March instead that starts at 11am.

It turns out there are *two* womens marches in Pittsburgh today at the same time but in different locations. I would like to be at both but the egos involved have mandated that I make a choice. The first, the Sister March, is the blessed satellite version of the DC event:

Organizers of a Downtown “Sister March for Pittsburgh” have obtained a permit for a demonstration beginning at the City-County Building at 11 a.m. Organizers expect 400 participants. Among them will be City Council President Bruce Kraus, who said, “Part of the foundation of our democracy [is to] hold authority accountable. I’ll be there to do that.”

Across town, the “Our Feminism Must be Intersectional Rally/March,” also begins at 11 a.m., starting at the site of East Liberty’s Penn Plaza apartments, 5704 Penn Ave. The march, which will end at an all-day Summit Against Racism at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, stems from a dispute about inclusiveness with organizers of the Downtown march.

“There was no black woman leadership” even though “black women have been doing organizing work in this town for a very long time,” said Alona Williams, an organizer of the East Liberty event. “People talk about inclusiveness, but we get erased from the narrative a lot.”

After a heated dispute on social media and a fractious meeting, Ms. Williams said she and other organizers “decided we would take this moment to celebrate. … This has turned into something beautiful” — a chance to affirm black women and their allies.

Organizers of the Downtown march could not be reached for comment about the dispute Wednesday. The East Liberty march, for which the organizers have no city permit, is backed by groups including Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania.

So, to recap, these two groups of women’s activists can’t march together because they don’t feel that their own grievances are getting the priority attention they deserve. I was afraid this was going to happen.

Feminism is already intersectional by its definition. Feminism is about the equality of all women. I will never understand why we needed to slap adjectives on feminism. By dividing ourselves into african american feminists and hispanic feminists and lesbian feminists and pro-life feminists (is that an oxymoron?), we have diluted the strength of being the majority of people on this planet. Isn’t it enough to just be women?? Why isn’t that cause for solidarity all in itself?

So, here we are. Two marches in Pittsburgh. I hope the turnout is as good as the day the ERA died and I went to a protest at the Point with a 6 month old strapped to my back, clinging to me with her tiny fistfuls of my hair. I can’t remember different factions that day. We were all grieving together for what we were about to lose. Then came the backlash. Now we are divided and out numbers will look small even though we are many.

The Trumpests are laughing at us. This is why they refer to us as Snowflakes. Our own individual uniqueness will prevent us from presenting a united front.

And that’s a shame. Because we are The Majority. Even here in election day ground zero Allegheny County. Clear thinking, dedicated, hard working, patriotic Americans outvoted Donald Trump here by quite a lot. We bested Obama’s 2012 numbers by 14,000 votes. In fact, anywhere in America where people outnumber the antelope, Trump voters are outnumbered. They shouldn’t be getting too comfortable. They should feel very nervous.

So why are we doing this to ourselves?

Six years ago, Occupy Wall Street burst into fruition in a matter of a few days. Occupys sprang up all over the country with a very simple message: We Are The 99%. It was a very powerful memorable statement.

We are still the 99%. We are now going to be ruled by the 1%. We have given them the keys to every branch of government. There is nothing we can do to stop them until 2018. This is not the time to disintegrate into an aerosol of particles fighting for recognition. This is the time to coalesce and recognize that we need to stick together in order to be effective advocates for our own lives. Otherwise, they will eat us alive.

The clothes you wear are of little loss if you escape from drowning.


40 Responses

  1. I’ve got bed head hair today. Going with it. Washing and blowing it out will take too long.
    {{sigh}} I always look disheveled. Can’t help it.

  2. This unofficial MP does relate to feminism, so it’s somewhat on topic.

    It’s also NSFW, due to an F-bomb. 😛

  3. I’m on the bus to downtown Pittsburgh and it’s STUFFED with protesters!!

  4. Democrats and liberals in general are very good at demonizing each other and not the real enemy. That’s why they loose. Hillary’s loss to some liberals was THE GOAL.

  5. I know there was some push back on Sarsour because she didn’t want Hillary included in the march. Didn’t work though. People still showed up in Hillary gear that wanted to. It looks like there has been good turnout all over the country and the world.

    • Sarsour seems quite a piece of work, doesn’t she? I know Riverdaughter defends Bernie supporters, but the prominent ones and Bernie himself are …. um… disappointing ( other words are in my head).

      • I feel the same way. Their quest for purity does nothing but cause problems and create division. I mean the way they went after Corey Booker was just pathetic. You cannot form a coalition with these people because no one is ever going to be pure enough or holy enough. If Bernie had gotten the full GOP treatment they would have been so dispirited they probably would have sat home.

  6. Oh god, yes this. The Marches are wonderful, but will only work if they’re a starting point and not the end.

    I mean, I get it. Liberalism, anti-authoritarianism *by definition* requires us to question norms and not blend in. But when “questioning norms” means NEVER giving an inch and always expecting perfection from our leaders and from each other? It makes our movements self-defeating, sort of an unwelcome but inherent surge-breaker. This constant factionalism is why we’ll keep getting “likable” leaders with shit for brains.

    • Ditto.
      By the way, the Pittsburgh March was a big success. The organizers asked for a permit for 400. 15000 people showed up. The all tried to crowd into Market Square, which isn’t big enough to handle a crowd that size. Should have marched all the way to the Point. Couldn’t help but notice that there were very few POC. it really upsets me that they decided to have a separate March.
      Still, got some pics of memorable signs. Will try to post later.

      • I remember reading an article back in 2008 during the primaries by an AA woman who was torn between aligning by race or sex. Kind of enlightening for me anyway.

        • I could see the intersectionality thing if white feminists were exclusively focused on integrating corporate boards or some such thing. I can also see it when women use it to stress the fact that some of us don’t worry about our male relatives getting shot at traffic stops.

          What I can’t see is intersectionality that seems to forget their female relatives getting raped and/or shot at traffic stops. The thousands upon thousands of women, often of color, killed every year in plain old hate crimes even though they’re not named that. What I can’t see is women seamlessly falling into the last priority as soon as there is anything, anything!, else to consider.

          Especially the last point is what makes me think that a lot of “intersectionality” is about allying yourself with causes that also have real people (men) in them, and not just hanging out with those icky second-raters known as women.

          • I like to start with human rights and go out from there recognizing that within the human race there are problems that are unique to certain groups.

            People like Michael Moore tick me off because they seem to think that if we solve the problems of the WWC that everything else will fall into place. Uh, no, it won’t. It seems to me there’s misogyny with some POC males. And that seems to cause them to care less about their female relatives sadly.

          • Yes, let us not forget that the white working-middle classes started abandoning the Democratic Party in the late 1960s, before the fat cats started shipping jobs overseas en masse.

            The sturdy Herrenvolk just didn’t like the idea of living with The Others, whether The Others were others due to suspicion of the Cold War, or ethnicity/race, or femaleness, or alternate gender or sexual identities, or alternate or no religious identity, or detectable intellectual wattage.

  7. I am discovering a new source of amusement.

    Many among both the right-wingers, and the Clinton-haters of the Horseshoe Left, are unhappy, despite the TKO defeat of their arch-nemesis Hillary The Horrible.

    We Hillary fans are not being “humble” enough, it seems.

    We’re not bowing and scraping to them, which they seem to believe is their due.

    They want respect. 😆

    Unless they are even duller than I think them to be, surely they would know that such “respect” would be as fake as anything Cheetolini says, so how could it satisfy them?

    I smirk at their rage over the hollowness of their victory. 😉

    • Yeah, I’ve seen that too. There’s a large dose of misogyny in there. Hillary should have stepped aside for Bernie the savior who they think could have won. Then there’s the Trumpers DEMANDING respect for a guy that hasn’t earned it.

      • Their candidate won, mine lost–yet I can cheat them of their full happiness, just by refusing to “humble” myself to them. 😈

        • Something is wrong with them. I think they know that even though Trump squeaked into the white house they are losing power overall.

  8. Those of you who might remember the 1972 Democratic Convention will not be surprised at any of this. That was a fairly genial affair, but it was inane. People were nominated for VP, withdrew their name in one case, re-entered again, etc. So many people wanted to talk and to take the opportunity to express their individuality and their own views, that McGovern did not make his acceptance speech until 2AM. The Republicans ran against all of that for 20 years; not McGovern himself, but the ridiculous spectacle of “liberals” indulging themselves in this fashion.

    Yes, it’s important that everyone get the chance to express his or her identity, but there is a time and place, and this is not it. The great fear is that the Republlicans, even though a minority party, will win every election, because, 1) they will effectively suppress the vote; and, 2) the Left will cripple itself with misguided political puritanism, purging of decent Democratic officeholders, and completely missing the forest to focus on their own personal identity trees.

    Things are dire. Things will get more dire if Sanders and his contingent try to take advantage of Hillary’s “loss” to purge the ranks, and thus noiminate someone like Warren, or Sanders himself, neither of whom have the slightest chance to win a national election in this country. And if they do it in Congressional races, we’ll lose all of those, too. And if BLM starts fighting with the Hispanic groups; and if feminist organizations attack white males, then we will have 1972 again, but a more chaotic and angrier and even violent version. And we will never win another national election, seriously. And yet I don’ think these people can stop themselves. For many of them, politics is not the art of the possible, or coming up with a reasonable candidate who is intelligent, caring, and has mostly progressive views; but instead it is demanding that their own particular pet issues, or their own definition of personal identiy, be wholly manifested in “their” candidate, or else the won’t play at all. Among many other horrible and bitterly unfair reasons, this is why Hillary lost. Far too many willful and spiteful Sanders supporters thought it was more gratifying to make a nonsensical statement by voting for Stein or Johnson, or not even voting at all, than to elect a very capable and caring and progressive candidate in Hillary, or even just to defeat fascism in America. And rather than be wholly mortified at what they did, many of them are gratified that “they won, they showed Hillary,” and are now doubling down on their futiile Jacobin ways. All that guilotining ultimately just led to Napoleon, and then the Bourbons again. Here, it has elected someone far worse.

  9. Several threads ago, I posted a link to Trumpgrets, IIRC.

    Here’s another “WTF was I thinking?” site. 😛

    Are You Sorry Yet?

  10. To all of the Trumpgretters: Bon appetit. 😆

  11. Millions protest at Women’s Marches across U.S.


  12. Am I failing at Christianity, that I feel scorn, rather than pity, for these members of Mencken’s “booboisie”?

  13. The joy is that the number of people at the Women’s March in Washington seems to have beaten the inauguration numbers… I think.

  14. Now that the Russian Stealth Occupation Government has taken over, I guess this will become our national anthem now. 😡

  15. I just got home from the San Francisco march, no violence nor cops and it was wonderful. Rained the whole time, candle light march.

  16. SF march…


  17. Today was a good day.

  18. Here is a gorgeous piece with pics from protests around the world: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/01/21/world/womens-march-pictures.html

    And here is a link to crowd estimates of each march, worldwide. WOW. Very inspiring! https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1xa0iLqYKz8x9Yc_rfhtmSOJQ2EGgeUVjvV4A8LsIaxY/htmlview

    Shadowfax, I travelled to be at SF march, too. Loved City Hall lit up in pink! 100K+ in the pouring rain. If you stood in one place during the march, it would take almost 2 hours for everyone to walk by you…

    • Wow! Last time I heard, they said 15000 in Pittsburgh but it seemed like a lot more. So many people. We could barely move.

    • It’s nice to know you were there in SF, in the rain, with me and 100,000 other American’s that are not ready to roll over for Trump.

    • Yes!! The London Women’s March was so long that I was at the front starting at Grosvenor Square, marched for an hour, sat for 2 hours, then re-joined the marchers at the point I was, walked for another hour to Trafalgar Square & when I reached there and left after for forty minutes, the people still walking in weren’t even at the end.

      i.e. if you had just waited at a spot, it would be at least 3 hours (or more) for everyone to walk by you.

      This was massive. If only people had voted as enthusiastically—a lot of the brilliant messaging from the campaign and grassroots (e.g. flash mobs with pantsuits, funny hashtags and buttons, celebrity videos) was so very positive and hopeful that I thought we had it. As someone said, “You can see from today’s outpouring of opposition to Trump how much he paradoxically benefitted from the perception he was going to lose.”

  19. The number of women (and men) who came from the city and suburbs to march in Chicago was estimated to be 250,000. The march became a rally because too many people turned out.

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