March 8, 2022- Two widely-circulated photos of recent vintage have circulated around the Internet. One is the shot of two conservative Congresswomen loudly heckling the President of the United States, during a point in his State of the Union address, last week. The other is that of a small group of Russian teenagers, sporting a nationalist, presumably pro-war, symbol on their outfits.
It is often tempting to think of women and children as universally being the nurturing and the nurtured, thus lending one’s thinking towards their being universally progressive and all-accepting. Such a mindset, not giving allowance for them as complete, complex human beings, besides being somewhat condescending, misses the chance to connect with a sizeable group of people who simply view the world differently-and not always in a bad way.
Those who resist progressive thought may have a thousand different reasons for their views. Not all of it, in fact very little of it, has to do with being brainwashed by men who are seeking dominance and obedience. I have several women friends who have stood up and thrown domineering, abusive men out of their lives-and who hold true to very conservative, traditional values. Many young people have done considerable research, across a variety of viewpoints and media, and still adhere to a traditionalist take on public affairs and personal business.
Where I draw the line, for those at any point on the political spectrum, is seeking to deprive those of differing viewpoints of their right to free expression. Thus, the whole idea of rolling back voting rights is anathema to me, whereas a return to the practices of respect for others, following a modicum of social order, that is based on civility towards one’s fellow humans and taking responsibility for one’s actions, are central to the core of my being. The first concept is a progressive value: Everyone over the age of 18 who is a citizen in good standing should be able to cast a ballot in their community’s elections, clear to the national level. The rest are identified with conservatives, but really do justice to every human being, regardless of where they stand ideologically.
I think of these matters today, as the world celebrates International Women’s Day. Let everyone live their truth, and seek to gently educate those whose statements and actions show want of adjustment, in light of facts.