Happy Chinese New Year and welcome to the year of the Rooster. The idea that our new commander and chief is something of a rooster has its own brand of appeal. Even his coiffure has the look of a roosters comb.
The day after President Donald J. Trump was inaugurated, a protest march on the Washington Mall was organized, allowing people to show the disappointment they felt that he won the election. The idea for a Women’s March caught on and there were simultaneous demonstrations planned in cities all across America and in some overseas countries. I believe activist women are arguably better behaved than some of their male counterparts so what could go wrong, right?
The photos from the event that are getting the most attention are deeply disturbing. Women dressed in what could be explained as the late puppeteer Jim Hensen’s worst hallucination. Mascot-like costumes in shades of pink made to look like the part of a lady covered by her underpants and I don’t mean her rear end. Also often pictured were women wearing an assortment of pink hats created to mimic that same body part.
As creepy as those images are, in my not so humble opinion, the most disturbing pictures seen were of feminist buzz phrases and other messages written on feminine hygiene products. These were then taped to the walls.
Not all the women in the unsettling photos of those in attendance wore costumes or hats. Some of them strutted through the crowd in nothing more than skimpy, raunchy lingerie and piercings.
On behalf of the sisterhood of women I defend these women’s right to express themselves any way they choose. But if one of the reasons for the march was to protest the lack of respect our new POTUS has for women, how did these stunts accomplish that?
As a child when I asked my mother if I was pretty her standard answer was, “Pretty is, as pretty does!” Not great grammar but an effective answer for an insecure young girl. Applying that logic to this situation, “Vulgar is, as vulgar does.”
I’m not sure which women’s rights President Trump had infringed upon at the time of the march; he hadn’t been in office long enough to do much more than have breakfast. He was busy trying to fill cabinet posts and master the learning curve that comes with the job.
Many still want to call him to account for locker-room-tinged comments made in 2005 to Billy Bush a cousin to former President George W. Bush. The two of them were discussing Trump’s success as a Lothario before taping a segment of the television tabloid show “Access Hollywood.” The audio recording and its transcript were released in early October in hopes of derailing his campaign. It embarrassed both the candidate and Bush, who now works for NBC news.
People frequently say inappropriate things in private conversations. By releasing this information someone favoring his opponent’s bid for the White House was playing to win at all cost. Yet like mobster John Gotti, Trump proved to be something of a Teflon Don with this scandal not sticking hard enough to be a fatal assault to his campaign.
The world’s spotlight was shining bright on equality issues and women’s freedom of choice. Yet some of the march’s participants showed they need adult supervision to manage the freedoms they already have. Not all the women who marched behaved like common trash, and it isn’t fair that the ones who did got all the attention.
Madonna and Ashley Judd deployed their celebrity status to speak to the assembly. Madonna said among other things that she thinks about blowing up the White House, but knows it wouldn’t change anything. Many on social media are demanding her arrest for threatening an act of terrorism. She said some ugly things and used the very bad “F,” word several times herself. Her message got drowned out by her determination to be vulgar.
Judd read an essay written by 19-year-old Nina Donovan of Franklin, Tenn., titled “I am a nasty woman.”
While there were valid points about wage, ethnicity and gender discrimination this message, too, got lost in its insistence on being uncouth.
One sign, carried by what looks like a grey-haired granny, repeated the F word multiple times to send her message of distain. Why in the world would anyone deploy their Andy Warhol’s promised “15 minutes of fame,” to demean herself and the cause?
To the men and women who marched in all those cities who behaved themselves and stayed on message without acting in a manner sure to embarrass them and their families, well done. To the people who took their opportunity to speak to the world and squandered it by acting like garbage, clean up your act.
Enjoy Chinese New Year and have a great weekend.