I am from lipstick tubes
From tampons and pads
I’m from civil rights battles and marches on the capital
From Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren
I’m from Nasty Women and pussy hats
I’m from empowering speeches and long, validating rallies
From discrimination and hope for a better future
My first personal experience regarding the lack of equality amongst men and women was at a young age. I quickly realized males thought they had the upper hand, and I remember witnessing men do miniscule acts for women that clearly, they were capable of doing themselves. No, I’m not talking about holding the door or paying the bill on a date that’s courteous not demeaning. I mean watching my somewhat older boy cousin telling me I couldn’t jump off the swings in a dress because I was a girl. Or scraping my knees and crying leading to my cousin’s mockery of “you act like a baby because you’re a girl.” Those miniscule demeaning acts stayed with me for years because they started to put me in the mindset of I couldn’t do many tasks because of my gender. However, I have further proved that I can indeed do anything I set my mind to, and any other woman can too.
Currently in American politics women’s rights are being widely discussed. The current President, Donald Trump, has shown his discrimination toward women on many occasions. He has the audacity to try and strip women of the rights they have earned. Trump has made crude comments on many occasions; before, during, and after his election process. However, women aren’t only affected by Trump, but by most men in our culture. This being said, the children of our society will grow up watching a president who doesn’t have respect for women and that will impact their views on how women should be represented in society today. Until women are treated completely equal to men our fight will never be over.
“My sisters and siblings are being beaten, brutalized, neglected and invisibilized, extinguished, and exiled. My sisters and siblings have been pushed out of hostile homes and intolerant schools. My sisters and siblings have been forced into detention facilities and prisons and deeper into poverty. And I hold these harsh truths close. They enrage me and fuel me, but I cannot survive on righteous anger alone. Today, by being here, it is my commitment to getting us free that keeps me marching. Our approach to freedom need not be identical, but it must be intersectional and inclusive” (Janet Mock, 2017, np).
Since Trump’s campaign started two years ago he has on numerous occasions torn down women, simply for being women. Objectifying their bodies and portraying them as sexual objects. Not only did he openly express these thoughts while campaigning, he explained to the whole country that his opponent was a “Nasty Woman”. In an article written by Cheryl Strayed for Time, she explains some of the vulgar comments Trump has made; “He referred to women as pigs and dogs … He said he could grab a woman 'by the pussy' if he felt like it because he was a 'star'” (Strayed, 2017, np). These poor judgements and obscene comments led to the women’s marches throughout the country, in which millions of women participated. The women who spoke out during these rallies and marches are the braves ones. Women, the ones who resist are the ones that will make the difference and push harder to keep the rights we possess now.
During the final presidential debate between Clinton and Trump, while Hillary was speaking, Trump spoke over her stating “such a nasty woman”.
When hearing of this confrontation between Trump and Clinton I was utterly shocked. Throughout my life time I’ve heard of many stories of discrimination toward women, I’ve even experienced discrimination due to my gender. However, for a presidential candidate to publicly discriminate his opponent was the first time I felt true anger toward a man. After this comment was made I was sure there was no way the United States would let such a vulgar man win and be in charge of our country, but clearly, I was wrong. This occurrence made me embarrassed to have our country even affiliated with a man, and once he was elected I truly didn’t understand how our country wasn’t the laughing stock of the world. To have a man, who doesn’t respect other’s rights run our country baffles me. I will never understand how America allowed such a man to be elected as the president.
The future of our nation is small children, not only girls, but also boys. Young boys learn from their experiences and if the most influential and powerful man of our nation is feeding them toxic thoughts on women, and women of the future will be oppressed even further. This also conditions young boys to treat young girls poorly. From a young age gender is taught to us as men are superior to women for X, Y, and Z, even when it might not be entirely true. According to Robin Tran, who writes for Everyday Feminism, everyone is taught from a young age how to treat others based on gender; “We were taught that an entire gender exists purely to satisfy others’ needs, it dehumanizes millions of people, and it’s very difficult to have empathy for someone that you don’t view as a real person. … It encourages the objectification of women because we’re so frequently represented as rewards for men how view us even though out our desires are rarely – if ever – taken into consideration” (Tran, 2017, np). That being said, not only do boys learn this about gender, but so do girls, which can bend their perspectives on how they think they should be treated. If these girls listen to this, their minds will be pressured into thinking they will never be able to amount to greatness. That is the greatest mistake any of us women can make. Through continuous resistance women can show the future generations just what women can do.
“Let us fight with love, faith and courage so that our families will not be destroyed,” Cruz said. “I also want to tell the children not to be afraid, because we are not alone. There are still many people that have their hearts filled with love. Let’s keep together and fight for the rights. God is with us” (Sophie Cruz, 2017, np).
During and after Trump’s election and campaign I saw my mother in a constant state of anger toward all the events occurring in our country. Her anger was directed at Trump himself and how he could call himself our president, yet make such vulgar comments towards women and other social groups. I remember her then growing sad because her children would have to suffer through the term of this man with hateful thoughts. She was worried about how my little brother would interpret the things he said because he was vulnerable to others’ thoughts and views. However, he expressed his concern for our country and told her how he didn’t understand how the people could’ve elected a president who would act in the manner that he did. Her anger was also directed toward the younger generation. She didn’t understand how they couldn’t “smarten up” and voted in some manner in the hopes to maybe derail the election and he wouldn’t have become the president today. However, I believe that even if more people from my generation voted I don’t think anything would’ve changed. I believe his presidency was inevitable, even if it’s not a good thing for our country.
On January 21, 2017, a movement amongst women who felt they needed their resistance to truly be heard, called the Women's March. Millions of women gathered in Washington D.C. to witness a long five-hour rally, where famous women spoke out against the vulgar comments that had been made against women in the recent past; “featured speakers ranging from Ilyasah Shabazz, a daughter of Malcom X, to Sister Simone Campbell, a Catholic nun, and the music superstar Madonna” (Przybyla & Schouten, 2017, np). They spoke out in resistance and banned together to show the new administration that they wouldn’t let the changes they were insisting on making happen, happen without a fight. This march was the first of many that occurred across the country in many different large cities. The marches gave scared women hope and a place where they knew they wouldn’t have to fight alone. Even men went to the marches to show their support; “Peter Monks of San Francisco, who attended with his wife and daughters, said he was showing support for women’s issues “to a president who doesn’t seem to recognize or care about them.” … “As a white guy, it’s easy to take privilege for granted,” Monks said. “It feels really important to stand up for civil society when powerful voices are lined up against it”” (Przybyla & Schouten, 2017, np), these are the men young boys should look up to, instead of Trump. These marches are what gave people hope in a time of need, especially women who were afraid of all that was to come in the next four years.
“We’re here today because of the power of women,” Warren said. “The power of women to come up with good ideas, like this rally. The power of women to organize, like this rally. And the power of women to make sure that as our country enters a new political era that the voices of the people will be heard.”
She added, “Yesterday, Donald Trump was sworn in as president. That sight is now burned into my eyes forever. And I hope the same is true for you — because we will not forget. We do not want to forget. We will use that vision to make sure that we fight harder, we fight tougher, and we fight more passionately than ever — not just for the people whom Donald Trump supports, but for all of America” (Elizabeth Warren, 2017, np).
Women have been fighting for their rights for centuries and to have one man come into power and try to strip them away like they’re nothing is not okay. To this current day women have had to fight for all they have because they were always thought of as the weaker of the sexes. This country was supposed to be the land of unlimited opportunities and I believe that regarding women we have made progress. However, the new administration has constantly slandered women since the beginning of its campaign. With the new administration, I believe our country has taken a big step backwards. Not only has the president made crude and unjust comments toward females, he has decided that women don’t deserve the rights they have been given and he is now trying to take those away. Together America needs to resist before women and other social groups are once again oppressed. “Nasty women” can do anything they set their minds too, and America needs to be reminded of that.
“We are here and around the world for a deep democracy that says we will not be quiet, we will not be controlled, we will work for a world in which all countries are connected. God may be in the details, but the goddess is in connections. We are at one with each other, we are looking at each other, not up. No more asking daddy. We are linked. We are not ranked. And this is a day that will change us forever because we are together. Each of us individually and collectively will never be the same again.” (Gloria Steinmen, 2017, np)
Throughout my life I hope to contribute to the resistance against the oppression of not only women, but all other social groups around the country and the world. Women deserve to be treated in the same fashion as men, but as of right now there’s still a fight to fought in order for women to be in a place that they deserve to be. If American bans together the idea of equality for all could be achieved rapidly. I believe that one day in the future this country will be able to come together and completely stop the inequalities, but until that day the ones who believe in true equality need to continue to resist. Eventually, together we will be able to make the United States the true home of the free.
Strayed C. (2017). Cheryl Strayed: Someday, a ‘Nasty’ Woman Like Hillary Clinton Will Win. Time Magazine.Retrieved from http://time.com/4959757/cheryl-strayed-nasty-women-hillary-clinton/
Przybyla, H. & Schouten, F. (2017). At 2.6 Million Strong, Women’s Marches Crush Expectations. USA Today.Retrieved from http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/01/21/women-march-aims-start-movement-trump-inauguration/96864158/
Tran, R. (2016). 4 Way Men Are Taught to Objectify Women from Birth. Everyday Feminism.Retrieved from http://everydayfeminism.com/2016/06/men-taught-to-objectify-women/
Speeches:Fleischaker, J. (2017) Inspiring Speeches from Women’s Marches Across the Country. Melville House. Retrieved from https://www.mhpbooks.com/inspiring-speeches-from-womens-marches-across-the-country/