October 13, 2018
A post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog some time back had this little quote – “Did you know that Dammit I’m mad spelled backwards is Dammit I’m mad?” (Sent by Norlene)
I read an article in this week’s BusinessWeek magazine about female anger and why it is so often suppressed and allowed to fade away. The #MeToo movement brought to the surface a lot of that repressed anger from women who have been taken advantage of and abused by men during their lives, especially in the business environment. The article speculated on whether the sense of anger and frustration that boiled over this summer, culminating with the confirmation hearings for Judge Kavenaugh, will affect the November elections and change the face of American politics. The article pointed out that a record number of women are running for office this year at all levels of government. Certainly, replacing the good old boys in government with women is one way to overcome the issue (at least in government).It will take a longer, more concerted effort to change the business world. So, maybe the #MeToo movement is morphing into the #OurTurn movement, and that’s a good thing.
In the political world, turning anger into votes is what got Donald Trump elected. He successfully read and tapped into the anger of the voters over issues on which they felt the traditional politicians had abandoned them. He was able to cast the professional politicians who ruled Washington at the time as a part of the problem and offer himself as the solution. It worked because those same politicians had become isolated from, and disdainful of, their constituents. They had become focused upon feeding from the trough of lobbyists’ money and doing the bidding of those who paid for their attention. It became well known that the lobbyists were writing the legislation being sponsored by their toadies in Congress and that did not sit well with the breakfast crew at the local café. Given little other outlet for their frustration, it’s no wonder that so many voters took the chance to vote for someone like Trump, who claimed that he wanted to “Drain the Swamp” in Washington. Whether he drained the swamp or just brought in a new crop of snakes and alligators is the topic for another day. He turned that anger and frustration into votes.
Now it’s the women’s turn to change things. The anger level has been building throughout the year as abuse of women scandal after scandal erupted onto the scene. The #MeToo movement may have started out of things that gained attention in Hollywood; but, it has always been there, just below the surface. It was suppressed in the homes and workplaces of America. It was hushed up in the churches and schools of America. It was winked at in Americas’ board rooms and in the Halls of Congress. But it was still there; festering; the anger building. This time, maybe it won’t fade away. This time, maybe it will once again turn into votes. This time, maybe the women of America will do what the President didn’t do and drain the swamp that American politics has become. We shall see on November 6. That’s the day in which women have the opportunity to say “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more.”
October 31, 2017
From a recent post on the Jack’s Winning Words blog – “It’s easy to sit up and take notice. What is difficult is getting up and taking action.” (Honore de Balzac)
Last week Detroit hosted a bunch of women who have decided to stand up and take action. This Women’s Convention in Detroit grew out of the Women’s March on Washington, which was itself a protest against what many women felt was a more than just a macho attitude in Washington about women or just boys and men behaving badly. The movement grew out of the decision of one woman to stand up and take action, rather than just sit watching the TV and lamenting the news in Washington D.C. as it unfolded.
The fact is that we are all confronted on a daily basis with many things that we need to evaluate our reactions to and take the appropriate actions. We see bullying and walk hurriedly on by; we see acts driven by racism or homophobia and look away in hopes that now one saw us; we pass by the beggar and avoid eye contact; we make it a point to avoid the person who just ended a relationship because we really don’t want to hear about it; we don’t go to visit the sick person in the hospital because we just don’t have the time to waste; we don’t correct the person making inappropriate remarks or touching us inappropriately because we just want to “get along”.
The fact is that we all sit by and take notice of many things that we should be standing up and doing something about. I do. You do. We all do. Does that make it right? No! The excuses are all the same. “I don’t want to get involved”.” “It’s not my problem.” “I don’t have time for that.” I would posit that as a fellow human being you are already involved, it is your problem as soon as you recognize it and there is nothing more important that you could spend your time on that helping a fellow human being. In Mark 12:31 Jesus told us that the second Great Commandment is, “Love your neighbor and you love yourself.” You cannot love your neighbor if you ignore him and his problems.
Now, obviously, you cannot spend all of your time seeking out and solving the problems of those around you. That is not what is meant by “getting up and taking action”; however, you can decide to stop avoiding or ignoring what is going on around you. Just like the women who have use the hashtag #MeToo, you can decide to start speaking up about the injustices or prejudices that you experience or see in your day to day life. You may get thrown off a plane, like the women on the News recently who complained about being racially targeted for reassignment of a seat on the plane. You may be passed over for some promotion or reward because you won’t “play ball” with your boss; however, in the long run right will win out. Being in the right and deciding to stay on that side and take action, not only means never having to say you’re sorry; in many cases, (especially those involving high profile lawyers) being right and standing up and doing something about it is rewarding in more ways than just emotionally.
So, take stock at the end of the day and look back on the things that were wrong that you took notice of. Did you stand up or sit by passively and hope that they would quickly pass? How does that make you feel? What can you do differently tomorrow? Don’t take the easy way out. Don’t just sit up; stand up for what you know is right. Stand up and have a great week.