National Archives Thrilled To Exhibit Pictures Of Women Marching In The Street For No Particular Reason
Oh women! Always complaining about nothing! Like that one time, way back in 2017, the day after Donald Trump's inauguration when millions of women around the world decided to take to the streets in the largest single day protest in the history of the United States, for no particular reason whatsoever. Why were they there? What prompted this? Perhaps no one will ever know.
To celebrate the 100 years of women's suffrage, the National Archives installed an exhibit featuring a massive picture that, when viewed from one angle shows the 2017 Women's March in Washington, D.C., and from another, a 1913 black and white photograph of women marching down Pennsylvania Avenue.
It is clear, from the 1913 picture, that those marching are demanding the right to vote. But the same can't be said for the 2017 picture, as everything that indicates why anyone was marching that day has been censored and blurred. For all anyone who looks at it knows, those women could have been taking to the street to express their love of carbonated beverages, like in that Kendall Jenner Pepsi commercial.
As you may recall, as it was only two years ago, those protests were a protest of Donald Trump, the fact that he had admitted to sexually assaulting women, and the fact that he was planning on taking our reproductive rights away.
The US National Archives digitally altering and manipulating photos from the Women’s March is further evidence of t… https://t.co/2kFP3Ytxjz— Kristen Clarke (@Kristen Clarke)1579362635.0
But the National Archives just wanted the exhibit to be non-partisan, which was really difficult given that this was not a non-partisan march. So they blurred out and censored all references to Trump, in hopes of insinuating that the protest was just a real fun non-ideological outdoor January get-together for the gals. They also wanted it to be "kid friendly" and so all references to vaginas were censored as well. As we all know, there are no children with vaginas.
Via Washington Post:
"As a non-partisan, non-political federal agency, we blurred references to the President's name on some posters, so as not to engage in current political controversy," Archives spokeswoman Miriam Kleiman said in an emailed statement. "Our mission is to safeguard and provide access to the nation's most important federal records, and our exhibits are one way in which we connect the American people to those records. Modifying the image was an attempt on our part to keep the focus on the records."
So let me get this straight. They want the American people to "connect" to the records and the only way they can do that is if the records are inaccurate?
Kleiman said the images from the 2017 and 1913 marches were presented together "to illustrate the ongoing struggles of women fighting for their interests."
Apparently, what those interests are doesn't matter much.
The decision to do this, by the way, was approved by archivist David S. Ferriero, an Obama appointee, who is likely waiting on his thank you note from the Trump administration as we speak. Surely it will arrive soon.
Using that picture, censoring those words and stripping it of all context is far more vile an act of propaganda than if they had not included the picture at all. It's not just erasing history, it is actively using an exhibit that is supposed to be about women's fight to have their voices heard in politics in order to silence those voices. If the things that we were all protesting that day are so incredibly offensive to the sensibilities of the National Archives, then they have no business using them to promote some kind of "bipartisan" propaganda in the first place.
It was not a bipartisan march. It was a partisan march. If the National Archives would like to have pictures of a neutral, bipartisan Girl Power Rally For Nothing In Particular so that they may have pictures of it for their exhibit, then they should organize one themselves.
Pepsi had the good sense to pull that stupid Kendall Jenner ad. Let's hope the National Archives does the same.
UPDATE: They did.
We made a mistake. As the National Archives of the United States, we are and have always been completely committ… https://t.co/qmUj0rvCJj— US National Archives (@US National Archives)1579375019.0
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse