The worldwide Women's March was this past Saturday, and although I wasn't able to attend in my city, I truly felt like I was there in spirit. I followed the action on Twitter and Instagram, and I had some friends who marched in their cities, and I have never been so proud to be a woman.
However, as I followed along on Twitter, I couldn't help but notice the negative voices, the naysayers. Both women and men were criticizing the march, and I honestly don't understand why. From men, it appeared to come from a place of insecurity, as if they don't know how (or don't want) to live in a world where women are not treated as less than they are. For other women, well, I honestly couldn't tell you why they were upset. But many people complained that the march was just in protest of the election and that all who were unhappy about the results should just "sit down" and "shut up," essentially.
I can't speak for every single woman, man, and child who marched on Saturday, but I can speak for myself when I say that this march wasn't just in protest of an American presidential election. First of all, many people around the globe marched; it wasn't just an American event. And while some folks from other nations may not be thrilled about our election results, I believe the march was about more than that for them, too.
For me, the march was about the inequality between the sexes, first and foremost. It is 2017, and women are still viewed as less than men. We are something to be ogled, possessed, regulated, looked down on, used, abused, and neglected. I mean, I live in America, so I don't have it nearly as bad as, say, women in third world countries who don't have access to feminine care products at all, or who are forced to marry grown men when they are still little girls. My problems, are very much first-world, but they still stem from the worldwide inequality between the sexes.
Now, I don't want to get too political in this space, because quite frankly, I hate politics. Politics can be so divisive, and this space is about building a community. But I also believe in speaking up for the things you believe in, so I'm speaking up.
There is also inequality among women. Women of color not only make less money for the same job as a man, but they make less money for the same job as a white woman. And that's not an indictment on white women, that's an indictment on the systemic sexism and racism that is still (unfortunately) very much alive in this country.
I don't want to be too long-winded, but my point is this. In this day and age, we cannot turn a blind eye to injustice of any kind. Even if it isn't directly affecting us, if it's negatively affecting the quality of someone's life, then we should actively care and do something about it. If we never stand with those who are oppressed, then who will stand with us when it's our turn?
I could go on and on about why I believe this march was more than just a protest, and I could tell you a million different ways that women still don't have equality in this world. But I mainly want to encourage you to stand up for your fellow woman. Stand against inequality. The one thing we all have in common in this world is that we are all human. Let's focus on that, instead of letting our differences divide and conquer us.
Peace + Blessings to you, friends.