Letter to the Editor: An Answer to a Naïve Question

This letter is in response to a recent missive in the Feb. 10 – 17 issue of the Pulse, titled “What’s the Motivation to March?” The letter writer addresses a woman from the community who obviously traveled to Washington, D. C., to take part in the Women’s March of Jan. 21, the day after the inauguration, as thousands upon thousands other women did. He seems to impugn the reasons this woman and others chose to make the trip and demonstrate, but then, midway through his letter, he asks, “Where have street protests advanced any cause?”

I suppose such a naive question might be considered merely rhetorical in the context of the rest of his presumptuous put-down of the Women’s March and the issues that brought these women and millions of others around the world to peacefully assemble. But just for the edification of this individual, a visit to any history book of the 20th century might show him a few examples: the Bonus Army protests of 1932, in the midst of the Great Depression, that sealed the fate of President Herbert Hoover; the Civil Rights marches through the South that brought about an end to Jim Crow laws and sanctioned discrimination; the Vietnam War protests that rocked the presidency of Lyndon Johnson and drove Richard Nixon to crimes resulting in his resignation. These are just a few notable examples in this country and don’t include massive street protests around the world that have brought down the Berlin Wall, changed governments, and shifted the balance of power internationally.

The writer makes a few other glib remarks that reek of paternal self-satisfaction. Since he is a man, maybe he feels himself immune from the concerns of women in this society and the issues so important to them in this strange new world of a reality TV star in charge of nuclear launch codes. He should know that there are many men, including me, with the same concerns.

Mike Orlock

Sturgeon Bay, Wis.