Monday, May 9, 2011

Millennium Park the place for spectacles; too bad some will offend way too easily

Early June is going to be the place to be at Millennium Park. The downtown splash of green is meant to be a showplace for the city.

Picture-postcard protests?
Yet I can’t help but note that two groups of people plan to gather there the first week of June to use the park as the setting for their protest statements on various issues.

WHICH MEANS THE park is going to be the setting for events that will get a bit of news coverage, get Chicago some national attention and encourage some nitwits who are determined to not only live their lives in the 19th Century, but also to force the rest of us to live there with them.

We’re going to get a more garish version of those “Take Back the Night” marches where women show they can be seen in public and shouldn’t have to be afraid. Only this event will be in broad daylight – although its spirit will be similar.

I’m referring to the events that are cropping up across the nation under the name “SlutWalk.” Chicago will get its version of this event on June 4 (a Saturday). Women will dress in ways that might be considered trashy, as a way of symbolically showing it shouldn’t matter – and that the focus when it comes to sex crimes should be on the man (or whoever perpetrates the act), not the recipient.

The name was inspired by a Toronto cop who said that women would be less likely to be attacked if they’d stop “dressing like sluts.” That has inspired a collection of protest marches, the most recent of which took place on Saturday in Boston.

A PART OF me is tempted to venture out to Michigan Avenue and Randolph Street (the northeast corner of the route that the women plan to walk on that date) just to see how garish the Chicago version of the event gets.

Because I couldn’t help but notice the Boston version of the event brought out a male contingency calling themselves the “Pimpwalk” – and even a few nitwits who felt the need to comment on the Internet that these protesters “need a man.”

Although I suspect that anybody who tries to talk such trash in Chicago is going to find themselves on the wrong end of a mob scene. I wouldn’t want to tangle with that many angered women.

But it is bound to be quite a sight if they really get hundreds of women to go for a walk along Randolph Street, Michigan Avenue (walking alongside Millennium and Grant parks), Jackson and Clark streets. I only wish it didn’t take such a sight to try to put it into certain peoples’ heads where the focus ought to be when it comes to sex crimes.
QUINN: Will witness what he has wrought

ANOTHER VISUAL REMINDER that we’re now in the 21st Century will come at Millennium Park just a couple of days earlier.

The “civil unions” measure that Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law earlier this year (at a ceremony held at the Chicago Cultural Center located across the street from the park) will take effect June 1.

That will be the first day that gay couples can seek a license from their county clerk to seek the union that implies similar legal benefits that straight couples get upon marriage.
So Thursday, June 2, will be the first day that couples could exchange vows in the ceremony not-quite-like marriage.

ACTIVIST GROUPS ON gay issues have said they plan to have some sort of mass ceremony where about 30 couples will make good on their civil union. Quinn has said he plans to be present at Millennium Park on that date, to see the end result of the measure approved by the Legislature and signed into law by himself.

Which has me wondering how many nitwits will feel the need to come out to the park and try to create an intimidating presence.

Not that I expect any violence to break out at the park. I expect a gathering of protest-types who will want to make their disapproval known publicly – even though such behavior really does little more than make themselves look ridiculous.

Because the trend is clear on this issue. States are going to move into this area of giving legal recognition to the unions of gay couples. The idea that these couples must be treated as illegitimate or some form of freak of nature is over – even though some people are a little slow in recognizing that fact.

THEN AGAIN, IT may well be some of these same people who are equally disgusted at the thought of women walking around in their underwear or other scanty articles of clothing.

Which means we will have a “miserable” week coming up for a certain segment of our society who can’t get with the program of our society. The rest of us will go about our lives minding our business – instead of trying to mind others’ like they seem anxious to do.


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