Resistance is the theme Red Wheelbarrow Writers selected as its blog topic for 2017—an apt response for this time of political tumult.
Blog coordinator Di Woods e-blasted a plea for members to sign up for a blog slot. “Resist,” she began, and included a dictionary definition and a question, “What does this word mean to you?”
I didn’t laugh out loud, but I thought of my favorite writing teacher’s reaction. When novelist Laura Kalpakian, sees front-and-center inclusions of dictionary definitions, she yawns and closes her eyes in boredom. Then her Editor-Self returns: she shouts or scrawls NO across the culprit manuscript.
But, here I am, having made dictionary definitions the mainstay of my daily A-Z Blog Challenge—because I can’t help it, because I love the Oxford English Dictionary, and because my wife gave me an OED subscription for Christmas. Boom, the OED was back on my desktop and the A-Z Blog Challenge was just the catalyst to ensure daily use of the OED and to justify my wife’s generosity.
Di’s definition of resistance was to push back, fight back, counter attack, and battle—all good synonyms. Resistance requires action, non-existent if residing only in the passive presence of a writer genuflecting in front of the OED.
The OED’s definition begins like this: “The action of resisting, opposing or withstanding someone or something.” As usual, the lexicographers provided an example of early usage, this time from the Coverdale Bible, “Eccl. iv. 12: One maye be ouercome, but two maye make resistance.”
Exactly. Two is better than one. Hence, my joining of Whatcom Undaunted, a group of twenty-five smart women (educators, lawyers, administrators) that meets every three weeks to have study sessions, share information and promote action. As a result, I am better informed. I pay more attention to the activities of Indivisible and the calls to action by League of Women Voters, and I enjoy working alongside two other women to assist in the development and maintenance to the website.
Though a newcomer to political activism, I strongly believe in the Ronald Reagan quotation emblazoned on the WU website: “A leader once convinced that a particular course of action is the right one must be undaunted when the going gets tough.”
Here’s another definition from the OED: “Organized opposition to an invading, occupying or ruling power; individuals engaged in such opposition…such as the underground movement formed in France in June 1940 with the object of resisting the authority of the German occupying forces and the Vichy government.”
I like that word invading. The Invader-in-Chief’s birthplace (Queens), education (Wharton School of Business), and ubiquitous entrepreneurial successes do not shield him from the traits associated with outside invaders: hostility, aggression, and encroachment.
An underground movement is surging. One aspect has been documented in Why We March: Signs of Protest and Hope, a collection of “Voices from the Women’s March” (Artisan Press, 2017) illustrated through banners and signs. Whimsical ones abound:
“You can’t comb over misogyny;” “I’ve Seen better cabinets at IKEA;” “Super Callous Narcissistic Extra Braggadocious.”
Protest signs dominate:
“If you aren’t horrified, you aren’t paying attention;” “Chin Up/Fangs Out!” “When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes a duty.”
If you think injustice is becoming law, what ways will you find to push back, fight back, counter attack, battle, resist, oppose, attack, and withstand invasion?