March is Women's Month. International Women's Day was Monday, March 8th, and I have to say, the amount of love towards womenkind I saw emulated through social media was beautiful. It was a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women everywhere. Upon reflecting on this day and all it encompasses, I was proud, but I also became frustrated. We as women have had to endure so much in history, even our most recent history, from fighting for our right to vote, to fighting for equal pay, and everything in between. And the fight rolls on.
I'm going to give you some facts, drawing from a 2015 Huffington Post article, if you're not already feeling this frustration I'm talking about. In the U.S., there are more male CEOs named "John" than women CEOs overall. In the Senate and the House, women are of great minority. Women are more likely to experience domestic violence, with 1 in 4 women experiencing some kind of sexual violence over the course of their lives. Women are more likely to be living in poverty. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, women make 78 cents for every dollar a man makes. Women are more likely than men to be stalked, and more likely to be sexually assaulted. The unfortunate truth is, I'm sure you were already aware of most of these.
I think about the world I want my future daughter to live in. I want more than anything for her to grow up knowing she can be anything she wants to be, do anything she wants to do, and above all, receive the respect and feel the security that she deserves. It already hurts my heart thinking about the trauma and disrespect she is undoubtedly going to face being a woman in this world. It should make you angry seeing headlines about another women being assaulted on her walk home. It should infuriate you when you hear about a group of Asian-American women being shot and killed in their place of business. This pushes me to strive towards a more gender equal world for our future generations.
I often think about the powerful and inspiring women in my life. My mother, who works so hard day in and day out to give my siblings and I beautiful lives. My grandmothers, who have witnessed so much hardship, from wars, to racism, to homophobia, and the like, but still approach everyone they encounter with open arms and love. My aunts, who are the greatest of role models and I look up to with awe. My female professors, who have shown my classmates and I what it means to be a strong, impactful woman who makes a difference in the healthcare industry. They say women are softer, more emotional, and more caring. Why is this a bad thing? We should use this to our advantage; the world needs more compassion. I firmly believe the world would be a better place if more women had a say in things.
I am completely aware of the advantages I hold in this world being a white female. I acknowledge my white privilege, and I know I have it better than many do, in terms of how society views and treats me. Rather than feel guilty about it, though, I choose to use it to my advantage in building up other women, and there are so many ways to do so. Supporting small women-owned businesses, hyping up the women on your social media feed, sharing information about inequality and justice, and speaking up for those who are neglected and mistreated are all ways to build up other women.
I used to think that openly exhibiting love for womenkind was selfish, and even annoying. Let's be real, feminism is not always portrayed in the brightest of light. The truth is, EVERY woman should be a feminist. We must band together, white, black, brown, Asian, everyone. Support your fellow woman. You've heard it before, empowered women empower women.