International Women’s Day at Qalandiya Checkpoint

This morning, I wrote: “On this International Women’s Day, I think that everyone who self-identifies as a male needs to take some time to reflect about ways in which we as men contribute to the oppression and marginalization of women, whether actively, unknowingly, or through the refusal to give up privilege.”

Then, I went to Qalandiya Checkpoint for a demonstration planned specifically for International Women’s Day. Qalandiya Checkpoint. We arrive a bit late and see chaos, and a few women standing there, protesting with signs. Casually, the soldiers wielding their phallus-guns begin to disperse the crowd with stun grenades and sirens. Then the young men come, with their manly rocks in hand, and throw them at the soldiers, who respond in manly fashion by shooting tear gas at all of the demonstrators, rock-wielding or not (to quote a friend who I was with, “spraying their white discharge all over the women in the middle, showing them who is in charge”). We don’t go close, because although sticking ourselves in the middle of the demonstration would be the manly thing to do, we are frightened, so we only choke on a little tear gas, and make our dejected way back to Jerusalem. Oh man…