There are people who should know better who seem to be unclear about the nature of democracy.
I’m thinking of The Australian’s star turn Chris Kenny, who today tweeted that the US women’s march was “undemocratic” and an act of “mass petulance.”
(I’m sorry I can’t re-post his tweet. Kenny and I entered into an exchange of views and he blocked me. Gutted.)
Kenny appears to be claiming that in a democracy an elected leader is owed unquestioning allegiance from those who did not vote for him or her. He also seems to be arguing that protest is undemocratic. Both these assumptions demonstrate an appalling ignorance as to the nature and purpose of democracy, whose definition Kenny and his ilk are apparently attempting to renegotiate.
In pre -Trump times I would have largely ignored Kenny, except in relation to canines, however, in the new world order alternate facts, post truths and just plain old lies have to be challenged, otherwise we’ll all end up being ruled by giant babies excreting giant piles of reeking faecal matter.
I’m not a woman who is inclined to identify with other women just because we all have vaginas. Neither am I likely to exult that I am proud to be a woman, because I can’t see any merit in an accident of birth. However, President Trump’s attitude to women and the Republican Party’s determination to strip women of hard-won reproductive rights stirs in me a profound identification with my sex, and the difficulties that are peculiar to us because of our sex, and I’ll wear a pussy hat in a march any time as an indicator of where my loyalties lie.
Kenny’s dismissal of the global protests of millions of women as “mass petulance” encapsulates the reasons we march. Kenny does not have to fear enduring a backyard abortion because Roe v Wade is overturned. Kenny does not have to fear the lack of resources to see him through a pregnancy because his health care has been terminated. Kenny does not have to tolerate being paid significantly less than his female counterpart for doing the same job.
Kenny cannot deal with being the subject of television satirists, so quite how he would cope with the myriad daily insults and abuses heaped on women just because we have vaginas, I can’t begin to imagine.
Kenny apparently believes he is justified in “standing up for [his] rights” when he feels abused, but women are not. It’s undemocratic when we do it. It’s a human right when he does it.
Sorry Chris. You won’t be remembered as the journalist called the dog f**ker who stood up for his rights. We’ll just remember you as the dog f**cker, with a big serve of petulance on the side.