My friend Michael Dobson wrote this on his Facbook page on International Women’s Day 2017, especially with the strikes and rallies held in the US and worldwide. I asked if I could post this and he agreed. It’s a couple days late, but the sentiment still resonates.
To the women who are not able to take a day off of work, because of the socioeconomic realities they live in, where the loss of a day’s work puts them in a dangerous place when it comes to food, housing, and other necessities.
To the women who fought last year for a living wage, were told to accept less, even by a major presidential candidate, and nevertheless still persist to fight for a living wage today.
To the women who advocated for universal healthcare, because money really does make a difference in health and even living, and were told “now is not the time,” or “you’re being politically impractical,” and yet remained undeterred.
To the women in other countries who still mourn civilians killed by our foreign policy.
To the women who look at empty chairs at dinner tables, that were once filled by black & brown men, or children, shot unarmed by police, and who live in a society where even white liberals still call neighborhoods “sketchy” and support the line of “we need to be tough on crime,” because they essentially view certain groups of human beings as predators who “need to be brought to heel.”
To the women who decided to make up their own minds, do & support what & who they thought was right, and were told there was a “special place in hell” for them, or were derided for their age, being told they were just doing what they were doing because “that’s where the boys are.”
To the women who have their own agency and intelligence questioned, and not just by men.
To the women who place values and morals above groups, organizations, and political parties.
To the women who are told that having a moral compass, or having certain lines they’re not ok with seeing crossed, are bad things and they need to abandon such foolish “purity standards,” and they should “compromise.”
To the women who know that they may see every college educated middle to upper class white woman succeed, and that success will not “trickle down” to them, because they are not college educated, not white, not socioeconomically privileged. And because racial and socioeconomic realities are not ameliorated when people and realities are ignored.
To the women who are working class, and recognize the fallacy of “if they just go to college, they’ll be able to get better jobs and live better lives.”
To the women who went to the Women’s March, spoke out about how they were treated because they weren’t white, and were met with responses of “why can’t we all just be positive?”
To the women who are dismissed because of their age, especially in regards to their ideals, who aren’t treated as equals in movements they participate in, who regularly hear lines as adults like “you’ll understand when you’re older.”
To the women who are told they’re participating in their own oppression for choosing to practice Islam, or wear hijab, especially by well-meaning liberals.
To the women who are told their agency & control over their own bodies is invalid, because someone knows better about what they should do with those bodies, especially in the name of female empowerment.
To the women who are told who they love, or who they’re attracted to, or how they choose to identify or express their gender, are somehow wrong.
To the women who survive sexual assault, only to be called crazy, called liars, have their integrity questioned, have people try to ruin them publicly, especially because someone was trying to cover up for an athlete, a celebrity, or a politician.
To the women who speak out daily about needing a feminism that is intersectional, that values more than just reproductive rights or whether women who work in middle and upper class jobs (which are more likely to be filled by college educated white women) can make equal pay, and recognizes the cogent need to address issues & problems that affect women across racial and socioeconomic lines.
You are not forgotten. Especially not today.
3/8/17 International Women’s Day