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home : columnists : columnists July 22, 2017

In search of a Pink Rally Cap

By Teri Ditslear
Joy in the Journey

Whoa, what a week! When the Joy in the Journey column was written, last week, I had not made up my mind to attend the Women's March in Indianapolis. After all, I had not ordered my pink pussy-cat hat. I waffled all week on my decision. To go, and voice support of all things that women care about sounded like something that was right up my alley. But then I did not want to go if it were perceived that I was going to protest the newly elected President. For most women, it was a rally, to speak, to have a voice in the things that matter to women. All topics that deal with humanity matter to women, all issues are "women's issues." Including: education reform, reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, racial equality, worker rights, healthcare, immigration, fair wages, fair business practices, sexual harassment, war, and recognizing diversity as a gift, and they were among the topics that were voiced. The stated goal of the march was to voice, "The protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families- recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of this country."

How could I, as a pastor and as a woman, not go? Yes, there were protesters. Yes, there were signs that provoked my inner prude. Yes, there were things said that I did not agree. But, I am so glad that I was there to participate, adding my voice to the throngs of women. In the sea of estrogen, and pink "rally caps," and signs, rainbows, and women, children and men all standing shoulder to shoulder raising voices just asking, no, pleading for justice for the oppressed, for love, and for those in authority to hear the voice of the people, was the realization that this could be just the start of another movement of feminism in our country, and a call to activism. Not exactly the feminism of the bra-burning and man-bashing 60's, but the feminism of being, "for women." Plenty of men stood proudly with their daughters, wives, girlfriends and partners taking on the cloak of male feminism. I salute you.

This week, I have witnessed and felt the consequences of both anger and suspicion and I've been too privy to the subject of emotional turmoil and divisive politics and religion. Just the fact that I attended the Women's March put me, automatically, as someone who is not to be trusted, or liked, with some people. Some have questioned my Christian faith. I have had to educate reporter that being "prochoice" does NOT mean Pro abortion (smh). The sanctity of life is my ideal. I have lost friendships, church attenders, and have been the victim of some yellow journalism and slander. On the other hand, I have had more people give me an, "atta girl." Private messages have been pouring into my inbox with a "thank you" for sticking up for women and all humans.

Sarah Bessey, blogger and author of Jesus Feminist shared the words that I wish I could have said first. This is what I believe:

"I identify as part of a group of people who receive their fair share of criticism. And to be honest I think a lot of the criticism has a grounding in truth. There are things Christians do that I find wrong and embarrassing and unholy and counter to the Gospel. There are things feminists do that I find wrong and embarrassing and unholy and counter to the cause. But here I am. I'm a Christian. And I'm a feminist. I'm not fully represented by what those labels mean. They're imperfect. And I know that the stereotypes of those labels cannot sum up the vast majority of the people I know who live within them."

My biggest regret is that I did not have a pink rally cap to wear with my cross and my collar. Does anyone have an extra?

Noblesville's Teri Ditslear is a pastor whose column appears Saturdays in The Times. Contact her at pastor@rolcommunity.com, on Facebook or at www.rolcommunity.com

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