But tell me what happens when dreams don’t come true*

by chuckofish

Today is a big day for many women I know, who have traveled far and spent a lot of money for the chance to stand in a large crowd chanting angry slogans.


I get it. They care deeply about women’s rights (as do I). However, it is not the merits of the movement that I want to discuss here. Rather, I want to comment on an underlying motivation I discovered that struck me as particularly important.  According to the many women I know who are participating, what excited them most about protesting was the prospect of belonging and having a purpose.  To me, that says more about the alienation of modern life than it does about the state of women’s rights.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t doubt their feminist fervor, but practically speaking, it would make much more sense for them to take the money they are spending on travel and hotels, and donate it to some worthy women’s charity. Clearly, there is more going on here. Maybe it’s time to spend some quality time trying to figure out what is missing from our lives (and I don’t mean government supplied birth control).

All of us feel alienated from time to time (some of us feel that way all the time), but losing oneself in a group can provide only temporary relief. Usually, introspection produces more durable results. Here’s a sad song from Mary Chapin Carpenter to help you get started:

You can read the lyrics here.

Safe travels for all. I hope you find what you seek, but remember that the thrill of mob solidarity is illusory.

*Mary Chapin Carpenter, “Hand on My Back”