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January 19, 2019 - 5:39pm

In the cold and the snow, local women vow to 'rise up' at Women March

posted by Howard B. Owens in Women March, news, batavia, notify.

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With a theme of "We Will Rise," about 75 people, mostly women, came out on perhaps the winteriest day of the winter so far -- with a bit of wind, a temperature in the mid-teens, and snow -- to Jackson Square this morning for the local version of Women March.

On a day when Buffalo organizers canceled their march, Genesee County's women's rights supporters rallied each other to do better and help each other.

"We don’t all have to be leaders but we each need to be participants," said Diane Kastenbaum, the keynote speaker.

Born and raised in Batavia, Kastenbaum moved away from her hometown as a young adult and returned seven years ago, going to work for the family business and eventually running for Congress against the now-indicted Chris Collins in 2016.

When she returned, she said, she found some irregularities in the family business and when she pressed the accountant and the attorney for information and documents, she met resistance.

She suspected the resistance was due, at least in part, to gender bias, she said, even though she was a stockholder and board member in the company.

Eventually, after continuing to press the issue, she staged a boardroom coup and was appointed CEO.

In 2016, she said, when she told a business colleague, a male colleague, that she was going to challenge Collins for the NY-27 seat, she said the man asked "Are you crazy?" He wondered, she said, how she could run her business and run for Congress.

"Would he have said that to a man? I don't think so," Kastenbaum said.

To fight back against sexism and discrimination, Kastenbaum said, women need to get involved. They need to join organizations and become board members, whether arts councils, civic group, nonprofits, or business organizations, women need to participate.

"Get yourself on some board and then run for office yourself," Kastenbaum said. 

Women getting involved will make a difference, she said.

"If you make that promise to me, together we will rise," Kastenbaum said. "And if you make that promise to yourselves, together we rise. And if you make that promise to your daughters and your granddaughters and your nieces and your mothers, together, we rise.

"And if you make that promise to your sisters here today, who will bear witness, together, we rise. And if you make that promise to take the power into your own hands, women, together we rise."

The crowd gathered in Jackson Square then broke into a call-and-response chant.

"We will"

"Rise up."

"We will"

"Rise up."

"We will"

"Rise up."

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After Kastenbaum spoke, the activists marched down Center Street, to Main Street, to City Centre to conclude the rally.

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Daniel Norstrand
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The last pic is priceless! The marquee re: Valentine's day with the somewhat juxtaposed protest sign "we will not be silenced" brings a good laugh reminiscing on Archie & Edith Bunker, and Lucy and Rickey Ricardo. Kind of disappointed they totally missed an opportunity to visit the "Peace Garden" just a stone's throw from their meandering.

Candace Bower
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Not a women's March . It was an anti Trump march.

Jim Urtel Jr
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A complete disgrace!

Cecilia Ladd
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Please think twice before referring to participation in a peaceful march as "a disgrace". Perhaps some readers need a refresher course in exactly how a democratic society functions. Citizens are free to call attention to any number of issues important to them and to walk to bring attention to said issues. Exercising our right to assemble is not "a disgrace". For a US citizen not to know or respect that is perhaps disgraceful. As a more than 30 year resident who dearly loves Batavia, I was excited and proud to participate in the march and would like to ask; what exactly was a disgrace with the march? Was it a disgrace that we honored two venerable women for their lifelong contributions to Batavia? Was it that many of us carried signs supporting sensible firearm legislation? Was it a disgrace that various, professional speakers informed listeners about pro-women and pro-human- rights causes? I thought it was a refreshing, informative day that showcased positive participation in our community.

Thomas Callan
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Today would have been better!

bud prevost
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Cecilia Ladd, thank you for your example of civility.

Jim Urtel Jr
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It`s a disgrace that somebody has to whine and protest about something every day! What the hell are you protesting about? What right do you not have? You need to have a march to honor 2 women? The Constitution has the gun issues covered! Ridiculous!

Howard B. Owens
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There are political points to disagree with here.

For example, Diana blamed somebody calling her crazy for running for Congress on the fact that she's a woman.

"Would he have said that to a man? I don't think so," Kastenbaum said.

Well, I'm a white male. When I started The Batavian, there were people here in town and people online who called me crazy and stupid and predicted that I would be selling used cars in six months (that was 10 years ago and I've yet to take a job at a car lot).

Hardly a week goes buy that somebody doesn't volunteer to remind me about how stupid I am either in email or on social media.

If I were a woman, it would be easy to say, "would they say that to a man?"

Well, yes they would.

There is a sizable number of people in this world who are mean, mean-spirited, cruel to their core. They can't maturely express their displeasure or disagreement in a factual way. They must issue personal insults (and sometimes even good people drop their guard or fall into that habit and don't realize when they're being insulting, as I suspect is the case in the story Diana told).

I make that point to illustrate, also, that you can, as a matter of fact, point out a point of disagreement without belittling the person making the point you disagree with.

To say anybody exercising their free speech rights while expressing a POV you disagree is a disgrace is itself offensive. This is a country built on the idea that everybody has a right to express their personal beliefs in public in any manner they choose so long as it's done peacefully. When we start insulting that right we're insulting the Republic and the ideals it was built upon and the words in our founding documents.

If you disagree with the Women March, make a reasoned argument why you disagree. That's how we build a stronger nation. We don't do it with broad-brush attacks.

Jim Urtel Jr
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Maybe someday, instead of people looking for something to complain about in this country, we will start being happy about being here and appreciate it. So it`s ok for these women to march around protesting but it`s not ok for some of us to find it ridiculous. Maybe I would understand a little better if they were protesting something worthy. Women have all the rights that men do. As Candace said, it`s just another Trump bashing. It sounded like a pretty straight-forward argument to me Howard. What the hell is she protesting?

bud prevost
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"As Candace said, it`s just another Trump bashing."
Wait a minute, I missed that? An anti Trump rally in the heart of Trumpland?
I would have gone if I thought that was what it was,just because.
Sorry for my lack of civility, Cecelia. I've never been accused of being the grown up in the room.

James Burns
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Jim JR,

They are protesting things like......

According to data from the US Census Bureau, the average gender pay gap in the United States is around 19.5%, meaning that, on average, a woman earns 80.5% less than her male counterpart. That gap can be larger or smaller depending on the state someone lives in.

91% of victims of rape and sexual assault are female, and nine percent are male

1 in 4 women (24.3%) and 1 in 7 men (13.8%) aged 18 and older in the United States have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime

Women are over 50% of the US population. Of the CEOs who lead the companies that make up the 2018 Fortune 500 list, out today, just 24 are women.

Those stats sound like inequality to me. What about you?

Rich Richmond
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Howard B. Owens
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Comment deleted for profanity.

James Burns
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Ok I will ignore the profane comment. Apparently facts cause that reaction in some.

Rich Richmond, thank you for posting, I respect and appreciate your opinion. I also respect the opinion of the CBS news link you posted. The issue I find with what you posted is it is clearly labeled as an "OPINION" piece and not a fact.

Your opinion piece contradicts what I posted about wage disparity from our US government.

The article you posed is by Steve Tobak. I am sorry I do not know ho he is. Do you have a bio or credentials for his opinion? Am I to trust this unknown man over US US Census Bureau data? If so why?

Jim Urtel Jr
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Really? Get over yourselves!

Jim Urtel Jr
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Rich`s "opinion piece" makes a lot more sense to those of us with common sense. It explains the issue to a T.

Rich Richmond
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Good to get back to you James. Data is a complicated thing that doesn't exist in a vacuum.

If you click on my posted link and scroll down, you will see underlined, “View all articles about by Steve Stobak on CBS Money Watch. There is a brief bio under that.
https://www.entrepreneur.com/author/steve-tobak

https://www.businessinsider.com/author/steve-tobak

In his opinion piece, Steve mentions underlined Marty Nemko as a source.
Click on it to see this mans credentials-http://www.martynemko.com/about-marty.

The US Census Bureau collects raw data and reports such. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Census_Bureau

There are those like Steve and Marty who break it down for us layman.

You may agree with them or not.

Howard B. Owens
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Some additional links on the gender pay gap ... it's a complex issue and government stats alone don't tell the whole story, or any kind of story, and too many politicians play this issue for donations and votes rather than paying attention to the actual issues at play.

https://harris.uchicago.edu/news-events/news/equal-pay-and-equal-product...

http://freakonomics.com/podcast/the-true-story-of-the-gender-pay-gap-a-n...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpE8ttCEd-w

https://harvardmagazine.com/2016/05/reassessing-the-gender-wage-gap

from the last link:

"IT’S DECEPTIVELY EASY to calculate how much—or how little—women in the United States earn relative to men. “Yu take everyone who’s working 35 or more hours a week for the full year, find the median for women, find the median for men, and divide,” says Lee professor of economics Claudia Goldin, explaining how to arrive at the ratio repeated by public officials: 78 cents to the dollar. “It’s very simple.”

“It answers a particular question,” she says, “but it doesn’t say that men and women are doing the same thing. It doesn’t say that they’re working the same amount of time, the same hours during the day, or the same days of the week.” The rhetoric of politicians, and policy prescriptions meant to close the gender wage gap, assume that pay disparities are created primarily by outright discrimination by employers, or by women’s lack of negotiation skills. Goldin has a less popular idea: that the pay gap arises not because men and women are paid differently for the same work, but because the labor market incentivizes them to work differently."

Tim Miller
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Thank you, Cecelia, for your addressing the "disgrace" comment so well.

One thing I've been impressed with - and not in a good way - is the manner in which many people have disparaged this protest when commenting on this article and in an earlier article about the march (https://www.thebatavian.com/virginia-kropf/glow-women-march-planned-for-...). The comments ranged from a person declaring "well, I'VE never had any issues that they are marching for, therefore NOBODY should have had any issues, and the women must just be whining about nothihng" to making derogatory remarks about the group comparing them to fictional professional wrestlers (by a guy, of course). Oh, and let's not forge the thoughtful "Bla… Bla… Bla… etc... etc... etc..." comment.

The empathy flowing for the people in your area is palpable... {smh}

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