Posted in Pics, Politics

Breaking the Silence: WPC

I was planning to take a photo of a nice, empty cobble stone street down in the Soho area for this week’s photo challenge: silence. The idea was to do some sort of photographic illustration of the Simon and Garfunkel song “The Sound of Silence” (speaking of, I recently heard Disturbed’s cover of the song—it’s beautiful). But I just wasn’t feeling it. I even had the song (both versions) streaming on my phone to inspire me.

march 20

I’d gone downtown after walking for a while with the Women’s March and I guess that changed how I listened to the song.

Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence

Silence can be wonderful, peaceful, beautiful. But it can also be insidious. It can fool us into thinking nothing is wrong. So there will be no silence here. Only people breaking the silence.

One of the criticisms leveled at the Women’s March and other protests last year was that they would not keep their momentum. A protest is a great show, but change takes sustained, hard, often unrewarding work (take it from someone who has worked in Democratic campaigns.) But a year later, we are marching again.

And, at least at the NYC March, we are a diverse group.

march 1

People of all ages, genders, sexual orientations, colors, ethnicities, and physical abilities turned up and spoke out.

I even spotted some 4-legged marchers—it’s nice to know that the pussy talk hasn’t alienated the canine constituent!

Not to mention the ‘participation’ of the NYPD. I know much of the flak that police departments get is deserved. But much of it isn’t. And during the March the NYPD was amazing—and more diverse than I’m used to seeing.

That gives me hope for 2018 and 2020. But also for society generally. If the #metoo movement has taught us anything it is that the representatives in government who think women are just decorative incubators are representative of a terrifyingly large portion of the country. It has also taught us that if we can speak out, we should—because silence only masks the problem.

So maybe #metoo and the Women’s March aren’t the best ways to effect lasting change, but they help break the silence.


Hi, I'm Mercedes. I'm a PhD candidate in politics and a trained pastry chef. I'm also an amateur photographer, hobby quilter, and all-around nutty girl living in the Big Apple.

10 thoughts on “Breaking the Silence: WPC

  1. “it’s nice to know that the pussy talk hasn’t alienated the canine constituent….” Bwahaha! Great 🙂

    My wife went to the Women’s March in DC last year, and it was terrific and she felt empowered and millions around the world added their voices and…and…and in the end it seems to have booted nothing. The voice of the People, not matter how loud, is being drowed out by the voices of lobbyists, special interests, and anyone else with a vested interest in the bottom line rather than the common good. For all we demoi pat ourselves on the back over grand gestures like this, it hasn’t affected policy one whit. I’m starting to despair that it never will.

    Of course these gestures will be outlawed in the coming autocracy anyway, so it’s probably a moot point…..


    1. I know it looks like an insurmountable challenge to change things, but I like to remind myself that Democrats are being elected in deep red seats. Female and LGBTQ candidates are beating conservative Republicans. The courts are challenging partisan gerrymandering. Individual states are taking up the mantle of liberalism (though that doesn’t help people across the country uniformly). It’s not a lot, but it’s better than nothing.

      I agree that grand gestures alone aren’t enough. But I think the March organizers knew that; the slogan this year was “power to the polls.” The March isn’t the movement, it just rallies participants and give the cause visibility–but the real work is going to take a while and it’s going to be visible in school boards, town halls, and state houses before it reaches the federal government. Hopefully.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I understand what you’re saying, and am not in disagreement. I fear, however, that gerrymandering – which while being challenged as you say (finally!) is still in force – at the state level will ultimately negate any advances made by grassroots “real work”. Look at the numbers of states with a majority blue voting population, but a red governor (and often state legislature). When that is the case, it ripples upwards with red representation in Washington from that state often. If that cycle can’t be broken, I worry that…well, I worry that I’m not going to be able to afford my tiramisu any more, that’s what I worry about. It’s all about dessert….


        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m still riding high after my neighbor state—NJ—finally electing a Democratic governor over Chris Christie’s hand-picked successor. But you’re right, NJ is still an exception. Hopefully 2018 will bring more election results like NJ’s. In the meantime, I think I’ve got some ladyfingers in my cupboard…I know what I’m making for dessert tonight!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I just want to say that I love your entry for this WPC! Silence can be enjoyed, yes. But it is so important to break silence when it is hurting so many people. Thank you for using this opportunity to do so!


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