Recently we discussed on me+r how and whether the political opinion of
an the actor divides, unites, enhances or detracts from fandom. It fills me with much joy that I can write a post today that does not need the always slightly pejorative inclusion of the two little letters “OT” in front of the post title. This was an occasion I wanted to comment on via the platform where I have the widest reach – here. But since this is a blog exclusively devoted to Armitage, I usually curtail my excursions off-topic. How wonderful that Armitage himself has turned the occasion into an “on-topic”.
#womensmarchnyc Proud to walk today on 5th Ave. Sean Spicer and the administration may ‘blur their eyes’ but the global images are sharp.
— Richard Armitage (@RCArmitage) January 22, 2017
I had been wondering whether RA was going to add his voice to this particular event. I had no doubt that he would be following the Women’s Marches in some shape or form, but with a month-long retreat from social media, I wasn’t sure whether he would comment publicly. He seems to enjoy (and need?) the silence. The fact that he has chosen this occasion to break his silence with, really pleases me. No doubt, he takes an interest in US and world politics, and – pretty typical for a member of the artistic community in a wider sense – he seems to subscribe to a liberal, slightly left-leaning world-view. But it is nice to see him openly support a cause that tangibly shapes the world of the majority of his fans, women. That’s not to mean I want him to pander to his audience. I take his expression of opinion at face value.
Yesterday was an event that has shown that politics are not isolated to a particular country (the US) but transcend borders and unite across differences of nationality, ethnic origin, language, age, sexual preference – even gender. The latter is particularly important, because the Women’s Marches had a particular gender right there in the moniker chosen for them. I can’t say how happy it has made me to have seen so many men on the marches, everywhere in the world, but also on the Dublin Women’s March. My son was one of them, and he followed the call with no hesitation.
Many commentators talked about being proud to be standing up for women’s rights. Pride is not something that I would personally associate with going on this march yesterday – with pride meaning a sense of satisfaction at one’s own achievements. I don’t really think that it is particularly hard (as a citizen of a Western democracy with all the liberties and rights that affords) to make the decision to go on a march that demands respect and the right of self-determination, and thus derive a feeling of satisfaction from joining a protest. These are basic human rights – it should be a matter of course to march for those rights. And while we have made a mark, we have not achieved it yet. I did not feel pride, I felt joy at being part of this international celebration of the power of women. It was a truly powerful feeling watching the footage from Women’s Marches all over the world, knowing that we were all united in the fight for human rights, no matter our ages, religions, nationalities, wealth, ideologies, languages, gender.
The question is now – where do we go from here? My hope is that the marches are a start to more political activism from all supporters. Questioning our representatives. Resisting fascism, war-mongering and segregation. Or at least taking courage from what happened on January 21, 2017 and realising that a world where wo/men unite across divisions, we can live without fear and overcome differences. War mongerers, fascists, populists of the world hark up: You shall not pass.