To all my friends and acquaintances who agree so wholeheartedly that the Women’s March isn’t their march, that only women who hate men participated, that women have equal rights in this country…
Are you even familiar with the Mission and Vision of the Women’s March? Or did you just jump on your soapbox and make the (erroneous) assumption that the March is nothing more than a protest to the Trump Presidency? Just a bunch of sore losers. Just a bunch of entitled sluts who want to use abortion as birth control, am I right?
Let me quote your friend Trump when I say, “Wrong.”
Before you form your opinion, and certainly before you publish it, you may consider educating yourself on a few things. And after you do that, if you still believe the women and men who participated are just a bunch of sore losers, okay. You’re entitled to feel your feels.
The Mission statement is fairly long and can easily be found, but I’ll go ahead and post the link here so you don’t even have to search for it.
What really stands out to me: “We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us…We work peacefully while recognizing there is no true peace without justice and equity for all.”
You recognize the importance of defending those who have less than you, right? Since I’ve seen so much religion brought into this, let me speak in a language I think you’ll understand: “Truly I tell you, what you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40
I think we’re all among the least of these at one time or another. We all fail, we each have our own personal rock bottom. And I think many of us have the resources to pick ourselves back up. I certainly do. You probably do too. But am I really such a terrible person for wanting to stand up for those who don’t have those resources? For that woman OR man (because it is about “justice and equity for all“) who is still on his or her knees? I cannot wrap my head around why that makes you so angry.
The Guiding Principles
I would be remiss to pretend that the focus of the Women’s March wasn’t women. The Guiding Principles state that “women’s rights are human rights, regardless of a woman’s race, ethnicity, religion, immigration status, sexual identity, gender expression, economic status, age or disability. We practice empathy with the intent to learn about the intersecting identities of each other. We will suspend our first judgement and do our best to lead without ego.”
Aren’t these things pretty much what everybody wants? Equality? Check. Empathy? Check. To be understood by others? Check. To not be judged? Check.
And in case you’re not sure whether or not you have the right to judge others, here’s a quick quiz for you:
- Are you an elected or appointed official charged with the job of judging the actions of others?
- Are you God?
If you answered yes to either of those questions, congratulations. You get to judge others. And if you answered yes to number 2, I’m truly flattered that you’re reading this.
Which brings me to the post that keeps circulating. The one that begins with “I am not a ‘disgrace to women’ because I don’t support the women’s march.”
First, damn straight you’re not!
But has it occurred to you that maybe you “do not feel (you are) a ‘second class citizen'” because you aren’t one? Good for you! No, truly, I’m thrilled for you.
But what about the woman who actually isn’t “provided opportunities in this life or in America because (she is) a woman?”
I’m talking about the single mom whose ex-husband doesn’t pay child support and isn’t held accountable for it.
The mom who has to leave her infant and go back to work too soon, while her body is still healing, because we have no maternity leave in this country.
Or the mom suffering from postpartum depression who may not have access to post-natal care because her local free clinic will no longer receive funding.
The woman who, while she can work, makes $.80 on the dollar compared to the man in the next cubicle, even though she has the same education and experience as he does.
I’m talking about the woman who feels her “voice is ‘not heard’ because (she is) a woman,” every time she has to carefully choose her words and tone so as not to offend or be called a bitch if she’s too direct.
The young woman who is told to “act like a lady” or “dress like a lady” or “talk like a lady” or that she would be so much prettier if she just smiled.
I’m talking about the woman who feels “that (she doesn’t) ‘have control of (her) body or choices'” because she was raped and her rapist received 3 months jail time. Or no time at all.
Or the woman who cringes as men laugh and explain away their appalling words as “locker room talk.”
Or the woman who has her pussy grabbed without her consent.
The mom who can’t express breast milk for her infant at her job for fear of being fired or passed up for a promotion.
Or the mom who feels the need to hide herself as she breastfeeds her baby because a woman’s body has been so overly sexualized that people find the act of feeding a baby to be offensive.
I’m talking about the woman who can’t afford birth control, prenatal care, or her yearly exam because she doesn’t have insurance and very likely won’t be able to access those places who provide these services for free much longer. It’s not about abortion, so just stop it.
The woman who was physically abused, or is just fearful for her well-being while walking alone to her car in the Target parking lot. Even in the middle of the day.
The mothers who try to shield their daughters from the media so that maybe they won’t constantly feel “too fat” or “too thin” or “too whatever.”
The mothers who fight to raise their sons to believe that they are accountable for their behavior and “boys will be boys” is never an excuse.
I’m glad you “do not feel like (you are) ‘not respected or undermined’ because (you are) a woman.” That’s a wonderful feeling, isn’t it?
So yes, you are a woman and you can make your own choices. You can speak and be heard. You can vote and work if you want to. I hope you’re thankful for those who came before you to give you those rights.
But no, you cannot always control your own body. And you cannot always defend yourself. Or your family. There is so much that can stop you and there is so much that does stop others. And sometimes a person’s circumstances or problems are the result of things outside of their control.
But you’re right; we don’t always get what we want. Nor should we. And I believe firmly in self-responsibility. But I also believe in standing up for what’s right and in fighting for those who may not be able to fight for themselves–for whatever reason that may be, wherever they may be.
So if you’ve never shared a post or a blog or a news article and stated your outrage about any of the things I’ve mentioned above (Spoiler Alert: bet you have), go right ahead pretending that none of this matters, that it has no impact on you or those you love. That all the women who marched are just a bunch of whiny sore-losers.
But if you have, if even one point sounded familiar to you, then you know why at least one woman marched. And that doesn’t actually seem worthless at all, does it?
And it’s not a va-jay-jay. It’s a vagina.