A friend of mine posted a really nice post conveying her thoughts and feelings on the women's march. Of course, with social media, it only took minutes for her post to be shared thousands of times, and that spoke volumes to me on how we think as a society overall. While her words or more or less true, I do think the overall message yesterday has been vastly missed by so many. This was not a march about Trump, or abortion, or any 1 thing. It was a movement that has been building for quite some time. I've seen numerous friends sharing this message, mostly women, and I have to wonder if they have forgotten the women before them who gave so much for them to enjoy what rights we have today. Here is her original post:
I am not a "disgrace to women" because I don't support the women's march. I do not feel I am a "second class citizen" because I am a woman. I do not feel my voice is "not heard" because I am a woman. I do not feel I am not provided opportunities in this life or in America because I am a woman. I do not feel that I "don't have control of my body or choices" because I am a woman. I do not feel like I am " not respected or undermined" because I am a woman.
I AM a woman.
I can make my own choices.
I can speak and be heard.
I can VOTE.
I can work if I want.
I control my body.
I can defend myself.
I can defend my family.
There is nothing stopping me to do anything in this world but MYSELF.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
And that's just a few examples.
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...
This WOMAN does not support it.
If I may, I'd like to take a moment and reply to this.
1.) No, you certainly are not a disgrace to women. As Americans, we all have a right to our opinions. But let us not forget that it wasn't that long ago that women were seen as property of their husbands, and had no right to their own opinions. They had no right to support or not support something on their own accord. It's great that YOU do not feel as if you are "not respected or undermined" or like a "second class citizen." That is wonderful! Why? Because that's not the case for millions of women worldwide. And it's not the case for a good portion of women in America. It is degrading and disrespectful to not be able to walk down a street without rude gestures and catcalls. It's disrespectful and degrading to not be able to go buy a buy of chips at Walmart without a man and his son, who are complete strangers to you, acting like they are going to try and grope you while making obscene remarks about your physical appearance. I'm very happy that you have not felt as if you were not respected, because I can tell you a great many have. If I were a man, would I have those same reactions? I certainly didn't see them acting that way towards the males in the aisle. I also didn't see any of the males condemn their behavior. It's accepted. It's considered "ok." Well...it's not ok, and it will never be ok.
2.) You can make your own choices, speak and be heard, and VOTE because of marches, protests, and women who laid down their lives to give all of us those rights! Less than 100 years ago, women did not have a right to do any of those things. How soon we have forgotten what our grandmothers and great grandmothers fought to give us.
3.) Yes, you can work if you choose. Again, a right won by women who protested. Remember the 1950s when a woman's place was in the kitchen? And her sole objective in life was to care for her family, care for her home, and care for her husband? You can thank the women on the 1960s for the ability to work outside the home and not have your character and womanhood questioned. Today, in 2017, we are still fighting for equal pay for doing the same job and equal treatment in the workplace. Did you know, compared to their male peers, women earn approximately 80%? So for doing the exact same job, with the same experience and qualifications (and, in some cases more...) women will make 80 cents on the hour compared to men making 1.00. that 20% difference may not seem like a lot, but for a salaried male early 50K per year, his female associate will only earn 40K FOR THE SAME WORK! How is this OK with anyone?
4.) You can make the choices over your own body, you can defend yourself, and you can protect yourself. And that is GREAT! But many can't. 1 in 3 women have been subjected to sexual abuse at some time in their lives. 1 in 3. 33.3% of women....I'm thankful to God you are one of the 2 who haven't, because I am the 1. I am the 1 who has been a victim, who is a survivor. I could defend and protect myself, too....but not when a male who nearly doubled my weight was holding a knife to my throat. I was pretty much beyond being able to defend myself at that point in time. And don't think married women are not subjected to sexual abuse by the husbands, they are. And it wasn't until a generation ago that they were able to prosecute their husbands! Remember that whole property thing I mentioned earlier? Yeah....the law did not cover sexual abuse or rape by a husband against his wife. It was understood she was his, and he could do as he wished-beat, rape, whatever. In the mid 1970s Marital Rape was starting to be seen by a crime. It wasn't until 1993 that ALL 50 states criminalized Marital Rape!
5.) YES! Women in other countries need to be heard, they need rights, they need to be respected. There were marches on EVERY Continent yesterday. Yes, all of them, including Antarctica. This is more than just a US movement, and we march for more than ourselves. But because someone else has it worse, does that mean we stop trying to fight for ourselves and for them? NO! No it doesn't! Why? Because there are people in our own neighborhoods, in our own families even, who suffer some of the same atrocities as these women. There are women right in the US who suffer. We do not give up on them. And our ability to protest, to march, to fight gives voice to women all over the world! It tells leaders all over the world that women are valued. Women are important. Women were created by God to be a blessing, not to be abused and ignored. We fight for ourselves, and we fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.
I am a woman, you are a woman. And I fight for you, too.