Normalizing Nasty, what the Women’s March accomplishedJanuary 23, 2017
I watched the wall-to-wall media coverage of the Women’s March on Saturday with great interest. I had friends who were marching and members of my extended family. While I do not agree with all the reasons they marched, I celebrate the extraordinary witness of freedom that Saturday was to the watching world. I value that we live in a nation where people are free to spend their hard earned money to make their voices heard by joining together with others in peaceable demonstration.
But then there were the hats, the signs and the speeches normalizing nasty. Appropriating the term President Trump used during the campaign in reference to his rival Hillary Clinton, those marching on Saturday now aspire to be nasty. And donning hats designed to reference the private part of the female anatomy Trump described grabbing in the now infamous 2004 Access Hollywood recording, marchers chanted the aforementioned now “grabs back.”
Leading the charge to normalize nasty was actress/activist Ashley Judd chanting:
“I’m a nasty woman” repeatedly to the crowds cheers. At the crescendo of her rant she screamed, “And our p***ies ain’t for grabbing, they’re for reminding you that our walls are stronger than America’s ever will be.” and “Our p*****s are for our pleasure, for birthing new generations of filthy, vulgar, nasty, proud, Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Sikh, generations of nasty women.”
Really? Is that what we want our little girls to aspire to be? For all the talk about not wanting to normalize Trump, that is exactly what the Women’s March accomplished.
Where was the transcendental virtue of beauty on display during the Women’s March? Where were the models of character and grace we want for our little girls?
What did you say when you were asked what the pink knit hats with the funny shape were all about? I said it was an outward sign of an inward and spiritual reality. For those with ears to hear, that’s a condemnation, not a compliment.
As Christians, we do not normalize nasty. We seek to transform the world as living demonstrations of the fullness of the beauty and truth of the Gospel. The helmet we wear is salvation and the sign we bear is the shield of faith as we hold out the Word of God in the midst of a now openly perverse generation.
Titus 1:15 reminds us, “To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled.”
Following the event, Michael Smerconish and Michael Moore were both blushing on CNN Saturday evening. They couldn’t figure out how to even talk about the hats the women were wearing nor the content of the signs claiming that what Trump said could be grabbed was grabbing back. That does not elevate the conversation. Where Trump went low, the Women’s March went lower. There’s a word for that: devolution.
The Women’s March raised the volume but it coarsened the discourse. From the foul language of celebrity speakers to the vulgar signs to the piles of garbage left behind for others to pick up, the Women’s March was ultimately a demonstration of privilege, not solidarity with those who have none.
Where was the concern for the Yezidi women or the Chibok girls? Where was the outrage against the millions of little girls butchered by FGM or the millions of others married off as child brides? Where was the voice raised for women living under Islamic Sharia law who have no voice? Where was the outcry for the girls sacrificed to abortion and infanticide by their own mothers?
The last question was in fact answered by the organizers who made it clear that pro-life voices were not welcomed by those who claim to welcome everyone’s voice. But the confusion wrought goes beyond abortion.
If the march is to become a movement there will have to be some centering point for messaging and mission. I, for one, am hoping that normalizing nasty isn’t the vision they choose to cast nor the culture change they choose to pursue.
Picture credit: Mary Madigan flickr
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