The 5 hr broadcast of the Women's March, Jan. 21, 2017 is well worth watching for anyone in this world. If you care about a (r)evolution on this planet from the status quo ways of operating that don't work for health and sustainable development for all, then this Women's March is everything for health and against pathology--at all levels of our society. I found watching this video (from Democracy Now news channel) absolutely enlivening at the soul level because Women are once again taking lead like I have not seen since the 1970s. Is it all about women only? No, clearly as I marched myself in little Carbondale, IL and as I know many who did march here, and as i watch and listen to the many diverse speakers in Washington at this event, it is women-led alright, but that is a very diverse group of people following women's lead. It includes men and others who identify most closely with other identities than merely binary women or men. Virtually every kind of marginalized identity has voice and is embraced in these movements. Although, there will always be some who say they felt excluded from this Women's March, a Diversity March, and what I am calling the FREEDOM FROM FEAR March of the people, radical, moderates and who knows there may even have been some conservative-types amongst the crowds of millions around the world.

From the perspective of the Fearlessness Movement, of which I have documented its history in the first posting on this ning, and on Wikipedia, there is no doubt in my mind, if you listen to this five hr. video live from Washington, DC, the theme is "We are not afraid!" (with many variations from, "I am not afraid! to "Don't be afraid!" to "We are not afraid of you President Trump! and "We will not be intimidated" and so on). If you know Matrix Reloaded (2nd movie, 2003, in The Matrix trilogy by The Wachowski Brothers) there is the most amazing scene in a huge cave beneath the earth where all the remaining few, and very diverse, humans live because "Machine World" is threatening its entire existence. And when under attack, Morpheus (an African-American man) leads a speech to arouse the people who are afraid. He repeats, "We are not afraid!" shouting to the top of his lungs. That is pretty much the same situation I saw in the video of the Women's March on Washington, and yet, with the females leading, as it is their turn and their time to do. Many slogans make up this coalition of the marginalized and diverse citizens of America and many countries around the world. The collective coalition is what is giving it the power that all the separate identity movements (politics) from class struggle, to sex and gender struggle, to race struggles, to you name it... they are coming together and are yes... women led. No doubt about it.

It has taken women to lead this coalition and organize in the way true revolution to be successful must be led. When I say "Woman" or "Women" I can just as well place underneath that umbrella "Feminist"--for sure. That is all there in this movement and the Feminist Movement has led much of these movements of diversity in terms of laying down the tracks of how to revolt against the oppressive intersectionality of Domination and Patriarchy. Women and girls get a lot of attention in this movement, but they are not the only ones who do. There will always be others, like men's rights activists, for example, who will feel they are not included the way they want to be--meaning, they will not feel they are "equal" to what rights are being struggled for. And, clearly, men are mentioned continually in this Women's Movement. I would say 30% of the people in these marches, at least here in Carbondale, were men, and that was because men came to support the women and girls, came to invest in the issues of intersectionality of struggle against Domination and Patriarchy and their negative impacts on everyone. But if men want to lead over women, forget it. I would say, women in this march everywhere have had enough of the way men lead. I am all for it as a radical feminist myself. If men want to be allies, and they can still speak up for their struggles, you bet--join this coalition women-led. You are invited.

Over and over, I kept saying in my mind that Culture Wars is only heating up, and it is invading politics and that's not going away. Any government today, who thinks they can rule a nation, especially like the USA, and not be sensitive to both sides of Culture Wars will not last long, likely be impeached, assassinated, or completely made inept because of the chaos of rebellions that will continue to plug the streets, the economies, the communications channels, and there will be "wars" --the coalition being formed and women led as I see it will be a non-violent one--it is made up of such diverse kinds of people and it will grow and include more and more. Of course, there will always be extreme radicals in and among them. Of course, there will be mistakes these women leaders will make. There will be differences that are and seem irreconcilable between the multi-diversity within the movement itself. Over and over I heard women leaders say in this video that that is okay, differences is what they are all about. Yet, with Trump elected as symbolic of exactly the kind of male leader they find so disturbing (and disturbed himself)--they, are not going to lie down and wait to see where his xenophobic policies and rhetoric of hate go. They are not going to give up eliminating these kinds of leaders from office of their country. And, I never heard or saw one anti-American expression made during the entire event. No, because this is not extreme radicalism moving forward. I am touched.

I won't do a big critical analysis of the movement I'm calling FREEDOM FROM FEAR movement... as part of the Fearlessness Movement in history... I am just glad it is happening now. We are so ready, as one sign I saw often read in these crowds "Love Trumps Hate"-- which, another read "We are a Resistance to Fear"--- it is true that people in America anyways, have been way too fearful for too long under the growing effective suppression of the "culture of fear" phenomena. It took a huge wake up call to see they could no longer live that way. It is no freedom. Apathy and pessimism is not an option. Women, mothers, and others leading are no longer going to stay quiet especially when they see a fascist-like regime take power in their country. If I was into making signs and marching, which I am not, I would make signs reading "Let's Not Only Resist Fear, Let's Understand it!" If ever there was a time, now is it for a better fear education, a better critical theory of fear management/education and its application to this FREEDOM FROM FEAR movement. Because, if I have learned anything so critical from 27 years studying fear and fearlessness... it is that rhetoric is fine, and slogans and marches, but if you want a real (r)evolution that goes to the next level of emancipation and transformation of self and society, you have better dig-in deeper, and design better fear management/transformation. Saying, "We are not afraid!" is often rhetoric in the assertive and aggressive "fight" register for what is a deep fear/terror still well seated below the surface of "strength" and "shouting." Albeit, there is also a 'feminine' response to fear and that is to 'tend and befriend' which girls and women as care-givers generally are instinctively capable.

Trump supporters and Trump resistors are BOTH afraid. My work shows that we will not fully understand LOVE until we fully understand FEAR -- they are dialectically intertwined. Love does not simply conquer fear--and end of story. That's a nice belief. Reality is much more complex and so are love and fear, Love and Fear, and so is fearlessness as the path between them.

Admitting fearfulness is a good start for us 'bridging' our differences and polarities that may never be resolved. We can however, resolve to end the Rule of Fear's Empire. I don't expect any rally to be much different than a cheer-leading and inspirational and nurturing space--which is fine, but we now need "teach-ins" (consciousness raising) all over the world of what it means to not be afraid when the fact is we are afraid of what's happening and especially with Trump as a leader. Again, I am not going to go further into my critical analysis and recommendations in more details. Those will come with time, and especially if people ask me for more. Let's continue the dialogue.

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  • Fantastic Michael! So beautiful. Thank you. Your fearlessness perspectives are very helpful to me.
    Take care,
  • This may be one of the most important reflections on this remarkable worldwide event. It takes more courage and fearlessness to be "for" the things represented in the women's banners in many ways than to only stand against. The same power of women is reflected at Standing Rock and also can best be understood in terms of fear and fearlessness. It is a holistic movement that nurtures naturally with the kind of courage and fearlessness "Mother" Earth embodies. Thanks Michael for reminding us that such love that will be needed for the immediate future can only be effective when accompanied by the the fearlessness represented by the marches.

  • Barbara wrote to a friend about this all:

    I hear your despair and underlying grief. All important layers of work to be doing.The future is not rosy by any means. I myself struggled to move out of grief and despair and into the collective gathering.  I am grateful to see community coming together and owning their right to action. Living in the denial and underlying fear, entrancement and apathy of the US for almost 9 years has taken its toll. I am grateful for a reprieve even if it is momentary.

    All things I could never fully understand as a Canadian living in Canada. There is a different kind of denial in Canada. I am currently reading about the Arab spring as I prepare for my trip to Egypt. What took place there is pretty much what is taking place here. The movement to step out of fear running lives is global and it will be a slow process. And it is North America’s turn now to rise. And that it is led by women is not surprising to me in the least. I listen to the women in Washington speak and I think - they could be a future president. We need that awareness of possibility to be catching fire.
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