Sunday, January 22, 2017

So I attended the Womens' March in Nanaimo..

To be clear, I hadn't heard of the pending event until only last week. I consider myself at least an ally of women's rights and affiliated movements, so attending the march would have been an easy decision. Of course I would go.
I could have though, relaxed at home, basking in the white male privilege that I enjoy by default. Its not that I haven't worked for the place and status I am at, its just that I am measured by a different yardstick than women and others.
I am a single father who has care and control of his child well over half the time. I work full time, I'm a union activist and a partisan political activist as well. I manage, but its not easy to balance everything. I don't do it alone, I have friends and family that assist. Single parenthood is a struggle. Yet, because of my white-male-ness doing what millions of women do every day, I get accolades and 'atta-boy's' from folks who think the world of how I "get'er done". While the recognition is welcomed and appreciated, its another day in the office for many other women in the same boat as me that do so with far less help and support than me.
I salute you.

But back to the Women's march. I could have mouthed off like others and said: "where were you on election day?" Truth, protesters at these marches likely voted. Not only did Hillary win the popular vote, she got more votes in this election than Obama did in his 2012 re-election. Which makes this a perfect metaphor for what many women face. An over qualified woman not being exactly perfect in all ways losing in an unfair system to a dude who's unqualified in every way but just managed to fill out the application form.

What did I say about being measured by a different yard stick?

Yes, Donald Trump is now the President. Yes he won the electoral vote and yes, Constitutionally, that allows him to take the oath of office and govern accordingly. But the moral victory isn't his, its hers. Now this isn't a ringing endorsement of Hillary Clinton, I was never an fan of hers; she was a flawed candidate too. But even her flaws are better qualified than the best things of Donald Trump (whatever positives he may have).

Sure, women have it better in North America than most other places in the world, but that didn't come from the generosity and charity of powerful men. That came from protests, arrests and collective actions by folks that were rightly upset and the unfairness of the then status quo. Now, given that the base of support of Trump and like-minded Canadian conservatives appeal to a more traditional (dare I used that word) view of the old world, protests like yesterday's Women's March will happen regularly. And I, with my son, will attend as much as we can.

Trump may have won a legal mandate, but not a moral one. So let it be known that his opposition, and those who would support him or import his hate filled ideology as their own, you're on the wrong side of history. So long as I draw breath on this realm, I will stand also opposed to such backward philosophy and welcome its predestined defeat.

"The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice" - Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.