Guy Farmer: Understanding the women’s marches

Chad Lundquist/Nevada Appeal

Chad Lundquist/Nevada Appeal

I’ve been trying to understand the women’s marches that took place in Washington, D.C., Reno and many other U.S. cities last weekend. March organizers demanded equality and an end to violence against women. I support those goals but question other aspects of the marches.

“As the movement has grown into a political powerhouse, it has also run into headwinds in the form of splintered leadership and accusations of anti-Semitism against some of its original organizers,” USA Today reported. One prominent march organizer has declined to denounce frequent anti-Semitic statements by black militant Louis Farrakhan, who supports marchers while demonizing Jews and white people. That doesn’t sound like an all-inclusive movement to me.

USA Today found a male marcher who “wanted to stand with the women in my life.” Me too, because I have several strong, supportive women in my life. The male marcher went on to say he wanted to do his part “in helping to undo the systematic oppression that’s keeping these amazing people (women) from flourishing and thriving and doing something for this world.” Perhaps he should tell that to the women who just took control of the Nevada Legislature.

The Reno Gazette-Journal described the local women’s march as “a celebration” of women’s rights. A crowd of about 2,000 people marched from the Reno Arch to the City Plaza, where they heard a variety of speakers denounce President Trump and so-called “toxic masculinity.”

“We demand to be seen,” said newly elected Assemblywoman Sarah Peters, a Reno Democrat. “We demand that our sisters be seen (and) demand acknowledgment of the continued atrocities acted (CQ) disproportionately against women.” We see you and hear you, Ms. Peters, but I hope your words don’t mean most American men should apologize for abusing women. Only the guilty should apologize.

That’s because many of us older white males who marchers identify as “the enemy” love women and want them to take their rightful place in a just society. And moreover, we don’t want to be stereotyped as insensitive Neanderthals who oppress women at every opportunity. I promoted many women during my diplomatic career — one of them became an ambassador — and refuse to be stereotyped.

An example of knee-jerk male stereotyping occurred recently when a “Fresh (?) Ideas” columnist wrote older white males are “out of touch, vengeful, angry, greedy and rapacious,” while women are “civil, honest, diverse, intelligent and fair-minded.” Wow! That’s quite an indictment of half of the U.S. population. I wonder what kind of relationships that woman has with her father and other male relatives.

As for “toxic masculinity,” that often starts in high school when young boys drink beer and chase girls. I’ll have to keep an eye on my 14-year-old twin grandsons, who seem to be noticing the differences between boys and girls. The Gillette razor blade company has just put out an ad against toxic masculinity suggesting that boys should act more like girls, turning them into what former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger called “girlie men” — wimpy guys who wear “man buns” and carry babies around on TV. I hope they’re not role models for my grandsons.

So man up, guys, and let’s support the wonderful women in our lives.


A VIOLENT ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT, 19-year-old Wilber Martinez-Guzman, who’s suspected of killing four people in Douglas County and Reno, was captured in Carson City last weekend. Although Northern Nevada media downplayed his illegal status, he should never have been in our country in the first place and is just another negative example of why we need a strong border barrier, or wall.

Guy W. Farmer, who loves women, is proud to be an elderly white male.


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