This weekend was filled with amazing events. We inaugurated a new president. The Falcons are going to the Super Bowl. And millions of women assembled around the world to peacefully protest and bring attention to women’s rights across the world. My newsfeed was filled with amazing pictures, stories and signs from the protests, and quite possibly the most amazing speech/performance ever from Ashley Judd. It was uplifting. It was exhilarating. For once in a very long time, I didn’t hate social media!
And then it happened. I began to see some “friends” pass around a note. You’ve probably seen it, or versions similar to it – the one called “This Woman DOES NOT Support the Women’s March.” I saw the first one on Saturday night and just rolled my eyes. Then I saw it again on Sunday morning and more throughout the day. What was equally surprising was how many people were “liking” and even “loving” the posts.
Initially, I refrained from commenting. They weren’t going to change their mind and I wasn’t going to change mine. But in the spirit of this weekend’s march and this administration attempting to pass off “alternative facts,” I will not be silent. So buckle up, and let’s go through this missive line by line, note by note. Ready? Let’s begin.
Women’s rights. It’s laughable. Sheep herding around cities not doing a damn thing about actual women’s rights. I have to respect a strong opening like this one, but let’s settle down on the name calling here, mmkay? And with respect to the “not doing a damn thing”, what do you call organizing the largest protest in history? I would file that under doing a damn thing, but that’s just me. And let’s not forget the 10 Actions in 100 Days coming out of the march.
I am not a “disgrace to women” because I don’t support the women’s march. I didn’t say you were or are, but self-projecting much?
I do not feel I am a “second class citizen” because I am a woman. That’s great that YOU don’t feel that way, but literally millions of women across all seven continents feel differently. Seriously, even people in ANTARTICA were like “This is f#$!-ed up.” This march is about more than you and me and our small circle. The 2.9 million people who marched worldwide this weekend had more than just themselves in mind when they got up to go out in the cold and the rain to stand together.
I do not feel my voice is “not heard” because I am a woman. See above.
I do not feel I am not provided opportunities in this life or in America because I am a woman. Again, great for you, not so great for the millions of others who don’t feel the same way. And we have the non-alternative facts (i.e. truth) to prove it.
I do not feel that I “don’t have control of my body or choices” because I am a woman. Again, good on you. Not so good for the millions of women who don’t have access to quality healthcare at a time when the new administration is trying to de-fund Planned Parenthood (which is NOT solely an abortion provider, #thankyouverymuch) and do their best to restrict access to abortions.
I do not feel like I am ” not respected or undermined” because I am a woman. I am not a “victim” because you say I am. I didn’t call you a victim, the march didn’t call you a victim. The only one calling you a victim is you.
I AM a woman. Yay, we agree on something! #babytsteps I AM a woman, too!
I can make my own choices. I can speak and be heard.
I can VOTE. Yes, you can vote because amazing, strong women before you protested for the right to do so! It was called the suffragette movement and is quite the inspiring story.
I can work if I want.
I can stay home if I want. Wow, it must be nice to be you and have choices like that! I am a well-educated woman but I HAVE to work to support my family. And you can be damn sure that I’m going to make sure that I get paid equally for my work, which is just as good as any man’s.
I control my body.
I can defend myself. I will admit, after reading this, I do not want to run into you in a dark alley.
I can defend my family.
There is nothing stopping me to do anything in this world but MYSELF. Did you read this off the motivational poster in the hallway?
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. That’s great advice to give a single mother who is working multiple jobs to care for a family she never sees: you’re just not working hard enough!
Quit blaming. Take responsibility.
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. Do the pink pussy hats make you clutch your pearls? #sorrynotsorry Does the word “pussy” make you want to earmuff your child? Let’s take a moment to THINK about WHY the pink pussy hats and Nasty Woman t-shirts are iconic to the march. The man who said “I just grab ‘em by the pussy” and “she’s such a nasty woman” is now in charge of our country. Let that sink in for a second. We are taking an insult and making a movement out of it. And bashing men? I saw a good number of men proudly participate in the march, same way you would see straight people at a Pride parade (but I have a feeling you have never been to one.)
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. Hey, we agree on something again! But, let’s go back to YOUR first paragraph when you called the peaceful protesters “sheep not doing a damn thing.” Maybe you want to re-phrase that just a tad, hmmmm?
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. I don’t really want to impress YOU, but I see where you’re going here…Again, this was a WORLDWIDE march where women were protesting injustices across the board, not in their backyard or own purview, which you seem to be solely focused on with all the “I” statements above.
Saudi Arabia, women can’t drive, no rights and must always be covered.
China and India, infantcide 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. Or the 7 year old girls being sold or married off to 60 year old men, Or the millions of women sold and bought into sex trafficking.
And that’s just a few examples. Yay, we’re finally talking about someone other than you! Only took how many paragraphs to get there, but hey, we got there! And yes! There are ALL good examples and great reasons why marches and movements like this are so damn important.
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… Wow, calling people whiners and equating a protest in the rain and cold to a paid vacation! I want to leave you with a quote from someone I recently read “If you have beliefs, and speak to me in a kind matter, I will listen. Respect goes both ways.” Hmmmm, where have I read that before? I bet you watch a lot of Tomi Lahren, amirite? And don’t get me started on the “it’s like a vacation away that they have paid for to get there..” Your middle school language arts teacher is shaking her head in disappointment at this awkwardly-worded phrase while Betsy DeVos is wondering what’s the problem with it.
This WOMAN does not support it. I guess we’re going to have to agree to disagree on this one, because this WOMAN proudly supports it. And so does my “woke” husband who was woke way before it was cool to be, my mom, my best friends, my co-workers and millions on millions of woman across the damn globe.