From the River to the Sea… Sure, Sounds Good Baby, Want Another Beer?

by Thomas Buckley at

The truly talented PJ O’Rourke once observed – we’re possibly in paraphrase territory here – that you could tell how successful a public movement or protest or rally was or would be by counting the pretty girls involved.

More pretty girls equaled a better chance of success because guys would start showing up.

I hate to break it to the politically pugnacious ladies out there, but when you ask a guy to join your cause and the guy says “That’s important, I get it, what time is the rally?” he is almost certainly not thinking only about whatever you are protesting or demanding or complaining about.

He’s thinking about something else. And he thinks you just asked him out.

And that is the key to protest culture – more people means more impact.

From going to Beat poetry readings in the Village with Barnard girls in the 1950s to hanging with the presumably easy but insufferable hippie chicks upset about Vietnam and other 60’s stuff to the strident ladies of the ”no nukes” movement of 1980s to PETA (in fact, PETA proves the entire point) PICS to interminable social justice sit-ins to the essentially genocidal Gaza campus much ados of today, the majority of the guys in the crowd may, shall we say, not exactly be 100 percent into the issue at hand.

Did you really think that kinda cute guy really cared about Justice for East Timor and that’s all that was on his mind when he spent two hours that Saturday morning with you handing out pamphlets?

Hate to break it to you gals, but he was just playing the odds.

Not all guys are like this and, if the movement is of real import, the male participation can be legitimate.  The 60’s protests, for example, include the very guy-centric matter of being drafted to go to Vietnam.  But, in general, if the protest is about, well, caring about something in a more philosophical and/or distant way, the “getting some clause” applies.