The Women’s March happened last Saturday, January 21st, and it was a huge moment for women and their allies. We marched for equality of all types: gender, race, sexual orientation and preference, etc.
We support the advocacy and resistance movements that reflect our multiple and intersecting identities. We call on all defenders of human rights to join us. This march is the first step towards unifying our communities, grounded in new relationships, to create change from the grassroots level up. We will not rest until women have parity and equity at all levels of leadership in society. We work peacefully while recognizing there is no true peace without justice and equity for all. -From the Women’s March Mission
It’s a show of solidarity. It’s a coming together of people from all walks of life to show our new government that we will move forward in the face of adversity. That minority groups are alive and well and we won’t go down without a fight.
Some people, however, don’t seem to get it.
All around social media I’m seeing women post the following message:
“I am not a "disgrace to women" because I don't support the women's march. I do not feel I am a "second-class citizen" because I am a woman. I do not feel my voice is "not heard" because I am a woman. I do not feel I am not provided opportunities in this life or in America because I am a woman. I do not feel that I "don't have control of my body or choices" because I am a woman. I do not feel like I am " not respected or undermined" because I am a woman.
I AM a woman.
I can make my own choices.
I can speak and be heard.
I can VOTE.
I can work if I want.
I control my body.
I can defend myself.
I can defend my family.
There is nothing stopping me to do anything in this world but MYSELF.
I do not blame my circumstances or problems on anything other than my own choices or even that sometimes in life, we don't always get what we want. I take responsibility for myself.
I am a mother, a daughter, a wife, a sister, a friend. I am not held back in life but only by the walls I choose to not go over which is a personal choice.
If you want to speak, do so. But do not expect for me, a woman, to take you seriously wearing a pink va-jay-jay hat on your head and screaming profanities and bashing men.
If you have beliefs, and speak to me in a kind matter, I will listen. But do not expect for me to change my beliefs to suit yours. Respect goes both ways.
If you want to impress me, especially in regards to women, then speak on the real injustices and tragedies that affect women in foreign countries that do not that the opportunity or means to have their voices heard.
Saudi Arabia, women can't drive, no rights and must always be covered.
China and India, infanticide of baby girls.
Afghanistan, unequal education rights.
Democratic Republic of Congo, where rapes are brutal and women are left to die, or HIV-infected and left to care for children alone.
Mali, where women can not escape the torture of genital mutilation.
Pakistan, in tribal areas where women are gang raped to pay for men's crime.
Guatemala, the impoverished female underclass of Guatemala faces domestic violence, rape and the second-highest rate of HIV/AIDS after sub-Saharan Africa. An epidemic of gruesome unsolved murders has left hundreds of women dead, some of their bodies left with hate messages.
And that's just a few examples.
So when women get together in AMERICA and whine they don't have equal rights and march in their clean clothes, after eating a hearty breakfast, and it's like a vacation away that they have paid for to get there...
This WOMAN does not support it.”
There is so much wrong with this statement. Of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinion and an individual is not “wrong” for thinking a certain way. The women who posted this are not “incorrect” but I heartily disagree with what they have to say.
The beliefs stated in this message stem from misunderstanding, misinformation and a whole lot of not listening and looking at what is going on.
Firstly, women in America do suffer just by being a woman. Comparing women in America to women in less developed countries isn’t fair to either party. It’s a classic case of apples-to-oranges and it’s time we stop doing it. The suffering of one individual or collective is neither more nor less important or valid than the suffering of anyone else.
Yes, it is atrocious how women are treated in other countries. It hurts so much sometimes that I cry in relief that I live in a country where I don’t have to worry about not getting an education due to my gender, or rape being a norm for women or genital mutilation. However, The Women’s March isn’t all about white feminism.
We do speak of the injustices that happen to women and girls in other countries—often. The point of The March, however, is to join together as a show of force in the face of our new President and his officials. Women in The March recognize that the fight for equality in America is much different than it is in other places—that does not make it any less valid.
American women face many obstacles—in the workplace, in education, in terms of stereotypes and expectations, etc.—and it is absurd to think it’s not worth fighting for because “other women have it worse.” We pay ridiculous amounts of money for toiletries, clothing, feminine hygiene items for a bodily function that we can't control.
So, while our vagina hats and posters and chants and profanities might not impress you—it’s all part of an event that makes a difference. Whether or not you agree with or support The March, we’re out there getting shit done. Not just for us, but for all those women who either are unable to participate or don’t agree with the event.
You may not agree with The Women’s March, but you sure as hell will benefit from it.