Monday, January 23, 2017

Women's march done- Now, what next?

Last week, there were quite a few protests who created a lot of buzz on social media as well as in mainstream media. Depending on their liberal or conservative inclination various media houses either reported these events aggressively or totally ignored it as if they didn't happen. I was little confused about the protests on the day of Mr. Trump's inauguration. He won a democratically contested election, the same system of electoral college which declared Mr. Bush, Mr. Obama, and all other previous Presidents declared him the next President of the USA, people need to acknowledge it and accept the reality. This is the beauty of democracy, it will be hypocrisy to praise democratic process only when it works in your favor. The Constitution gave Mr. Trump right to contest the election and he won it, he has a constitutional right to serve as the President of the USA, I didn't understand the main intention behind protest on inauguration day. If it was just to oppose Mr. Trump's victory because some people didn't like him personally then it sets a dangerous precedence for everyone. Oppose his policies if you don't agree, challenge his decisions if you feel they are wrong, criticize his statements, demand an apology, but don't try to question is rights, it is dangerous because tomorrow someone might question your rights also.

But, I do understand the intentions behind women's march, some of the comments made by Mr. Trump about women are derogatory, his so called locker room talk was disgusting. The excuses and the apology offered by him for some of these things are lame and inadequate. So, the women's march had a valid reason. It was good to see so many women coming together and marching to protect their rights and challenge misogynist views. The culture of patriarchy still exists in some form or other in all parts of the world and the USA is not an exception. It shows its ugly face in the form of sexist jokes, discriminatory rants, prejudiced statements, or so-called locker room talks. Such things need to be challenged. Many people might feel that this is a very hypersensitive reaction, or protestors are cherry picking the things just for the sake of making a big deal out of nothing. But, the truth is that things like patriarchy are so deep rooted in the psyche of our culture that it will need a lot of flushing to get rid of it completely. Women need to be vigilant about any behavior which even remotely tries to propagate such mindset because they are the main victims of such mindset. Sexual harassment is still a huge problem both for men and women, comparatively, women are more victimized and that's why this protest was necessary.

Based on news reports it seems that women's march was a huge success, not only in the US but in many other countries it was noticed. Now, what next? Just conducting one huge march or registering protest once is not going to solve these problems. This huge protest should not be the end, but the beginning of the new movement. Marches or protests are good methods to highlight any issue or spread awareness about the problem. But efforts should not end with one-time protest or one march. People (both men, women, and transgenders) should resist any attempts to demean any group by anyone. It is going to be a long march to achieve equality and I hope that everyone in support of it is willing to walk that long.

Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic.

[Copyright : Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing]