Gentle not Nasty -A rebuttal to Ashley

gentle-changeWomen joined all over the world to protest in peaceful marches to draw attention to women’s issues – the march prompted by President Trump’s sexist, demeaning comments about women and potential policy changes.  In most countries women’s issues need to be addressed.  It is in the way we draw attention to these issues that makes  or breaks our cause

From Madonna’s outrage to Ashley Judd’s recitation of “I am a nasty women” by  Nina Donovan, ( a 19-year-old in Middle, Tennessee)  to a song organized as a pop up a Capella beauty by singer Milck,  we protested.  Carrying peaceful placards fit for a “general audience” to wild and outrageous profane signs, wearing  pink “baby cat” hats to  hajibs, women around the world marched.

Today’s my blog post is a milder gentler protest using some of the words from Nina Donovan’s prose, but written in a way I can relate to.  Nina’s was written after Trump called  Hillary Clinton a nasty woman. I will link the words and video from the march as a reference, but gentle women, you may not want to even look at it.

I am a gentle woman. I’ve learned the hard way not to judge people just on their looks.  I am a gentle  woman who can express my views without vulgar, demeaning terms, a gentle woman who cringes at words used by women (and men) that make vulgar our body parts and acts of love.

That does not make me complacent regarding real concerns regarding the people chosen to lead our countries. I am concerned about elections that are real and fair. I yearn for campaigns filled with issues not criticism, kindness not hate.  I know that combatting nasty words with more, doesn’t solve our problems. I believe in absolute truth  – absolute values that hold true through generations.

Being a gentle woman doesn’t mean that I don’t get angry.   I am angry at any leader who uses hate speech and intimidation in his election addresses.   I am angry when racism, fraud, conflict of interest, homophobia, sexual assault, misogyny, ignorance and white supremacy is allowed and championed in a day where it should never be.  Yeah, I’m a gentle woman — but that doesn’t make me complacent.

I am glad my choices in the election booth didn’t have to compromise my beliefs – making voting for honesty mean my vote didn’t count. I honour the battles our grandmothers fought to allow  me to vote. I believe in wage equality and see many examples of it, yet know others make less money just because they are women.  I believe that paid maternity leave for women allows an important bond that is priceless. I am angry when women feel that to go upward in a career, the trail must be be paved with sexual favours, and that they don’t feel that they can stand against this and still be successful. I am angry at Jian, Bill, Bill, Donald and countless other men who see their popularity as privilege over the bodies of a trail of women and girls. I am angry that many women (and young girls) can tell a story of coercion, assault, rape, date rape, or of not feeling worthy of saying no.  I am angry that Canada has a path of missing and dead First Nations women and didn’t priorize an investigation into it.  I am angry that courts often blame the women and look past a crime to the woman’s past sexual history.  I am angry that even today in both our affluent countries women are sold in the slave trade.   This is not a myth. This is not what Canadian (Nellie, Emily, Mary Ann, Alice,) and American ( Rosa, Elizabeth, Susan B , Eleanor, Condoleeza, Michelle) women fought for. This is inequality. This IS nasty.

I am a gentle woman, a woman who knows sorrow and anger. I buried three babies born live-who were not in the womb enough weeks to be viable. I am angry that babies this size legally can be aborted in our country because we “own” the right to our bodies.  This right is balanced by the fact that most Physicians will not do this unless absolutely necessary so very few late term abortions are ever done.   I am angry that fetal rights are forgotten in this era of “my body has rights.” Yet I know of late term terminations taking place to abort a baby with a genetic condition that has no chance to live. I cannot imagine that decision or that lack of choice.   I cannot be in favour of banning  abortions either for these reasons, and what I saw as a new nurse in that era of backroom butchering.   I have seen women who felt they had no choice but to abort.   Personally, my experience makes me conflicted.    I am an adoptive mother.  I have held a 23 week baby in my arms.  I felt the bond of a 10 week fetus four times.  This  “women’s right to choose” movements forgets that pregnancy ended early for any reason leaves a huge loss whether that child was planned or not.  Women remain wounded.

Gentle women can make a difference. Perhaps by marching in a protest march with signs that respect and honour their cause. Perhaps by fighting with gentle words rather than vulgar ones. Perhaps by having a home where girl’s issues, girl’s opinions, and girl’s privacy are  honoured. A home where girls and boys are respected equally and taught to honour others.   Perhaps by living values and saying words so that they will feel no shame by when their children or grandchildren repeat them. Or perhaps by every day having such clean language that people gasp if they slip up and exclaim words they so commonly hear outside their home. Perhaps by prose or songs or speeches and even Facebook memes that honour rather than degrade while still calling for equality and truth. We need to honour and value people of all gender, race, colour, economic standing and beliefs. And teach our children and grandchildren the same.

So women – let’s yell, let’s march, let’s hug, let’s cry. Let’s learn and study, and pray and listen. Let’s say NO to inequality, racism, bias. Let’s find out where the concerns are in our own sphere of influence, and each do one small thing to make a difference. Let’s throw out vulgar terms for body parts and acts of love, in doing so recognizing our diversity and beauty created by God.  Let’s say pardon me  or gasp instead of ignoring it when language or jokes offend us. Let’s change women’s words back to those that honour, not degrade. Let our feminism be one of beauty, strength, companionship and love.

We CAN Be those that make Canada and America great.


About Terry Jago

Retired nurse manager interested in living my best life with natural and healthy living choices.
This entry was posted in Faith, grief, healthy living, Living life, Women,s issues. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Gentle not Nasty -A rebuttal to Ashley

  1. Linda O'Connell says:

    Good thoughts Terry, I agree totally. There is enough vulgarity without adding ours as well

  2. Loved your perspective Terry thank you! I too am a gentle woman who does not resonate with radical feminist actions. Thank you for showing us that we as women can be firm, passionate and confident and still be classy about it. xo

  3. heraldmarty says:

    I believe there is a place for it all – for those who choose to take a gentle approach and for those who choose to express their anger. We are facing uncertain times and we each have to choose our own way and respect our differences, to do otherwise would be hypocritical and there’s already enough of that going on all around us. Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. As someone who marched here in Toronto, I consciously created a ‘gentler’ sign and I think I refer to it as that in my article too. I understand both sides. I’ve always believed in equality and would like to see that mirrored in every way you wrote about Terry. I actually watched Ashley Judd’s rendition of the poem and I loved it. I loved the passion and although I do not have any of the experiences this young woman who wrote the poem has had, I feel for her and all women who feel marginalized and left out and discriminated against. The old patriarchal few of ‘a woman’s place’ has past its due. It’s time for women to come together speak up, stand up and show up for the things that mean the most to the progress of us as human beings. And yes, I am one who will bring this message in a kinder, gentler way as well.

  5. I understand how you feel and I also need to understand the feelings of others.
    We are currently in a place where we have not been in decades. Women see that their voices have not been and are not being heard – not just in the U.S., not just in N.A., but around the world.
    Some can respond with kindness, others respond with hurt, and others respond with anger.
    The key is that they are responding, they are nurturing one another, and they all have mutual interests in their hearts.
    We can all make a difference regardless of the approach we choose to make change happen and have our voices heard.

    • Terry Jago says:

      For sure. Post election Trump government is scary to us as Canadians – but we recognize that if it scary for us, then how much more for the US. It was a huge march of many people, and I admit I don’t understand all the issues

  6. Joyce Hansen says:

    I echo the feelings of others who acknowledge the different approaches. But, we as societies need to confront the blindness that women are lesser than, deserving lesser than and it’s men who know what we want and what should be given to us. I often wonder how do men come to this belief, What is it as Mothers and teachers can we do to promote equal respect and treatment?

    • Terry Jago says:

      I wonder that too. I came from a family who told us that girls could do anything yet I grew up very shy. But I don’t think I ever felt my inferiority was from being female…. just me. I pray my granddaughters will respect their femininity and still feel the world is theirs.

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  8. Great article. I will be experiencing some of these issues as well..

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