Saturday, October 31, 2015

Guess What? You're Not Actually A Hero

Guess What? You’re Not Actually A Hero
Here’s a recent headline I ran across in Slate: “Brave Portland Woman Breaks Up Planned Parenthood Protest by Chanting ‘Yeast Infections!’”

The story centers around a woman who works at Portland’s Purringtons
Cat Lounge. After witnessing a pro-life protester outside, Mary Numair,
who is a big fan of Planned Parenthood, decided to take matters into her
own hands by making a sign and yelling at some people:
The sign, which Numair crafted out of masking tape and a
piece of cardboard from the dumpster, praised Planned Parenthood for
treating her chronic yeast infections when she was in her early 20s and
uninsured. It also included a delightful cartoon of a vagina with a
smiling clitoris and a stick figure with pigtails and prominent breasts…
Now, however delightful or political profound a smiling clitoris
cartoon sketched on a piece of discarded cardboard might be, being a
liberal in Portland doesn’t exactly tell us that you’re prepared to face
or endure danger or pain or that you show any particular courage in the
face of a serious threat. Neither, sad to say, does yelling “yeast
infections!” Portland pro-life protestors were undoubtedly non-violent
(as almost all pro-life protests are) and Numair’s pro-government
protestation was not only protected by law but probably cheered by most.

Actually, her act was celebrated by a major news site. So Joan of Arc she is most certainly not.

But I’ve noticed a lot of this lately; and perhaps it’s not new.
Every day there’s some story focusing on false heroes and pseudo-bravery
masquerading as some valiant or defiant action. Not only on the
political front, but in culture, where fake courageousness not only
dilutes the genuine heroic actions of others, but is used to create the
false impression that people are engaged in actions far more important
than they really are. Bravery is not synonymous with “you agree with

Guess What? You're Not Actually A Hero

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