In Response To 'The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Protest Sign,' And To The Women That Responded To Her

In Response To 'The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Protest Sign,' And To The Women That Responded To Her

We march so that they are no longer invisible, no longer a second thought.

My first thoughts in response to Ellie Winters’ article were pretty standard. No, we’re not done fighting on the gender equality front. No, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be a housewife. No, feminists rallies aren’t spitting on you for wanting to cook dinner for your husband and drive your kids to soccer. No, feminists aren’t fighting for your immediate incarceration because we’ve gotten whiff of the fact that you don’t want to be a CEO and established that you’re a disgrace to womankind.

Ellie, I’m also super sensitive. I got into about half an hour of "The Ring" before I screamed at my friend to turn it off. I’m a grown woman and I still like the lights on when I’m alone in the house because yes, I, like you, am scared of dark rooms too. I like makeup and I feel better about myself when I look pretty. I think dresses are perfect party go-to's and when I go shopping, the ordeal takes me hours. I like getting my nails done too. In short, I have a bunch of typically feminine characteristics...and I’m somehow still a feminist. Apparently being sensitive and wanting to have rights to my body aren’t mutually exclusive.

My next concerns about the article were finally a little more inclusive and thoughtful. Yes, perhaps you know more women in business than men. How many of those women are women of color though? How many of those women of color are being paid the same as their male counterparts? How many of those women of color are being paid the same as their white female counterparts?

I was sure someone would write that response. I was sure that someone would ask “Hey Ellie, what about black women?” or “Hey Ellie, what about trans women?” I was waiting to see such an article pop up on my feed, so when “To The Girl Who’d Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign” came out the next day, I was psyched to open it.

The article addressed my indignation as a feminist; it addressed the hypocrisies and logical fallacies of the original article. What it did not address were women of color and trans women. Perpetually invisible, perpetually a second thought.

So maybe we need a reminder of what our feminist rallies are about. And maybe it’s our fault- maybe the message of inclusivity and intersectionality is lost in the sea of pussy hats and “my vagina, my rules" signs. To be clear, the flood of women at women's marches and slut-walks aren't just fighting for female CEOs, and they're most definitely not fighting for their right to shame you for wanting a husband. They're fighting for a trans woman's right to exist; they're fighting for a black woman's right to her humanity.

Yes, we're past the point when we're fighting for suffrage and maybe that's why it seems to people like Winters that the battle is already won. But it's important to remember that when women fought for suffrage, white middle-class women lead the marches, frequently excluding women of color. We're better than that now, as the poster in Winter's cover photo states, and we can do better than just simply fight for white women.

We can turn our focus to the fact that the life expectancy for trans women is ridiculously low; to the fact that a black woman was murdered in a jail cell by the very system that then pronounced her death as a suicide; to the fact that forced sterilization is still very much a problem for women who are minorities, who are in poverty, who are HIV positive. It's time to bring these people in the light, it's time to give them a voice. We march so they are not longer invisible, no longer a second thought.

Cover Image Credit: Erik Drost / Flickr

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Will Enough Ever Be Enough?

Yet another school shooting in America, still nothing done. We are dying.

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018: We are all heartbroken to hear about another school shooting.

At Great Mills High School in Maryland, a 17-year-old male is pronounced dead at the scene after shooting two other students and a school resource officer. Just before their first period started, at 7:55 am, Austin Rollins shot one male and one female student with a handgun before being shot by the school's resource officer. While the 16-year-old female is in critical condition, the 14-year-old male is currently stable. This is the 17th school shooting in 2018. That's 17 days out of the past 80 that parents have gone to bed with their children in body bags as a result of gun violence.

I don't care what political party you associate with, gun violence is completely out of control. I am a registered Republican and completely agree with stricter gun laws. Learn the difference between a gun ban and sales control. Concerned citizens are not trying to take away your guns, but are trying to take away the rights from those that are risks.

Could you imagine legally having to send your child to school but never coming back? You've packed their lunch, maybe with a special note, and gave them a kiss before they left for school, not knowing that it was their last. No matter where we go, we are not safe. We can't go to malls, movie theaters, schools, or even churches without having to worry if it will be our last trip. Our homes, our places of worship, and our schools are supposed to be the places where we feel safest and, instead, our children are filled with fear. Instead of focusing on the political views that divide these groups, why don't we focus on what unites us? Why don't we focus on protecting our kin?

Everyone has had an opinion on the walkouts that have been happening around the country. Everyone has had an opinion on the 17 minutes of silence for the 17 children lost in the Florida shooting. I've seen people disgusted that Nickelodeon had 17 minutes of broadcast cut because it "interrupted the only program [I] let [my] children watch".

If your child was shot at school, you wouldn't have to worry about what programs they watch, but rather where to bury them and how to afford their memorial.

I've seen people saying that it's no wonder that Millenials are dumb. They "find any excuse to cut class". Have you thought about the fact that they are genuinely worried about going to school?

Personally, I've experienced both a shooting scare at my high school and a bomb threat at my college. I shouldn't have to worry about my life ending. I'm legally forced to go to high school and get an education or I'm putting myself into a lifetime of debt to get a degree.

We are all too young to stress about gun violence. Our school years are supposed to be the times our of lives, but they're being wasted on worrying about dying every day.

Rest in peace to all of those who have lost their lives in shootings, not only this year, but always. Hopes, thoughts, and prayers go out to their loved ones. One day, we will unite and find a solution.

We need to work together and forget the labels of parties and cliques in school and look out for one another instead. There is no kind but mankind.

Cover Image Credit: Boston Herald

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The Republican Versus Democrat Stigma Needs To Slow Down

We Need To Be Individual Again

We as a society have developed an unnecessary need to place people in a specific party based on what could be a single value out of many. This is a letter for those who do not define themselves as one or the other; for those whose values range between conservative and liberal, for those who feel the unfortunate pressure of society to choose one even though your values do not fit just one.

The political parties at one point generally just meant “these are my basic beliefs, so this is the candidate I will vote for because they most closely represent them.” Party affiliation was harmless. Republicans and Democrats could get along fine, differing opinions not getting in the way of relationships and alignment. More importantly, you did not have to be part of a specific political party to be an active member of society. Your opinions and principles were yours.

Over the years following the last two election races, political parties gained a much more significant and defining meaning in our lives as individuals and as members of society. There is a newly developed stigma behind political opinions. You are almost pressured to feel one way or another about every single topic. If a majority of your values are of the conservative agenda, you must be a heart-and-all Republican. In contrast, if you are more liberal-leaning you are docked as a set Democrat. We as citizens are being labeled according to what may be a few hard-values. And dishearteningly enough, can be ridiculed for what we value. Even if you might not value everything the same as your determined party.

There exists those of us that hold values from both parties. It is possible to value women’s rights and also value a traditional marriage. It is possible to be a gun owner and also active in keeping children safe in school. You do not have to just submit to every belief of one party. You can value aspects of different parties and still be a functioning member of the American society. Do not let the looming obligation to declare yourself as strictly one or the other. You do not have to pretend you agree with everything Democratic or everything Republican; you can have your own values. And you should. Our society is messed up in the way that values are pushed on citizens. We are meant to be free individuals with our private values.

It is not fair to those of us who value different things. Not every American is a to-the-bone Democrat or Republican. It is possible to hold liberal beliefs as a conservative person. And Vice-Versa. We need to stop labeling one another as one or the other, conservative or liberal. We need to stop silencing each other because we have differing views. We need to accept not everyone is perfectly one party, and diversity exists. Open mindedness exists in Americans, despite the seemingly growing generalizations. We need to be able to agree to disagree on certain topics.
Cover Image Credit: LexiHanna

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