“Day of Silence”

As some (many) of you know, today was the “Day of Silence.” I was considering joining the effort, but I stopped myself. I didn’t know why I was doing it (or why I was going to do it). So I decided not to do it this year and I headed to school, where I found out that many of my peers were in the same situation as I was. …except they went on through with it.

What I had heard from previous years was that people became silent because of something to do with bullying or something similar. So this question arose: if the people are being ostracized, why counteract against silence with silence? It’d be more proactive just to talk to them, rid them of their unhappiness and move on. Once having been a victim of bullying myself, I found it rather offensive that people would take my pain and suffering and turn it into a game of a sort. The day of silence has guidelines. Certain things are allowed and certain things aren’t. To me, silence means no communication at all. This means no notes, no hand gestures, no nothing. Otherwise you’re doing it wrong. In order to get the feel of what a true “silent” person was going / had gone through, you have to sit alone at lunch. You can’ t talk to anybody. You must sit in a corner, alone, paying attention to nobody and having no attention paid to you.

This year, though (after I got home), I found out that it was about LGBT rights. My previous question dissipated, but more questions arose. What was the silence representing, now? Was it representing the silence the LGBT community would have in general because of the way they’re being judged, or are they being silent only about their homo/bisexuality in the fear of being judged? In either case, you’d still be trying to counteract silence with silence. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think this would work, although I do realize that it’s one of the biggest things you can do in order to provoke change. Kind of similar to hunger strikes.

But really, it doesn’t have to stop there. Try to get laws passed. Six years ago, as I was in fifth grade, our class started a project. It was to come up with something that needed change and pretend to go through the law-amending process. However, we got politician Robert Shinn in the classroom to talk to us and we actually went down to Olympia. Two of my friends spoke in front of audiences on C-SPAN and in front of adults, attempting to ratify the law that prohibited smoking within 25 feet of public building doors. It failed the first year, but amazingly enough, three or four years later, the law was ratified.

Anyway, the point of that was that you can start from nowhere and do something great. Why don’t we do something more drastic than the Day of Silence? What it would be would not be up to me. But let’s do it.

One of my friends agrees with me.

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2 thoughts on ““Day of Silence”

  1. It’s a metaphor pure and simple. The day of silence represents the people of the LGBTA community who are silenced because they feel they cannot be themselves in public, they cannot tell their friends or families about who they are, they even fear masculinity or femininity. Because of the fear of bullying or being outcast. The silence is the essence of living a lie, about not being able to tell the people around you or the world who you are.

    The day of silence is a metaphor mirroring that. And every year someone says “OH SILENCE DOESN’T DO ANYTHING.” Yet every year people take notice. And that’s what the purpose of it is. It’s a peaceful protest to get people to think about the subject at hand. And they do, whether they carry on about how silence doesn’t work (which is effectively proving it does) or they just begin to think about it.

    And people are trying to get laws passed in this area. There are non-silent protests.
    This one, however, is specifically in the schools, originally started by students.

  2. Also, there’s 93452357408923745234 kazillion protests out there, so how does one protest get noticed? By being different. And the day of silence certainly is.

    Plus whenever there are pride parades or gay rights protests, homosexuals are criticized for being “too in your face about it”.

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