“We are mothers. We are caregivers. We are artists. We are activists. We are entrepreneurs, doctors, leaders of industry and technology. Our potential is unlimited. We rise.” – Alicia Keys, Women’s March 2017
From a young age I was told ‘boys will be boys’, and that acting and dressing in a certain way was not ‘ladylike’ and would make people treat me with less respect. I then realised that’s bullshit, and that I am free to say, do, think and wear whatever I want. Period.
It’s come to my attention as I have grown older, that being a feminist woman puts me in a box. I apparently hate men, demand equality but do not actually support it, and am ‘rabid’ and ‘nazi like’ when discussing my views on the matter. I was reluctant even now to make this post through fear I would be subject to labels and misconceptions, because of how people view feminists.
The main misconception concerning what feminism is revolves around the idea that being a feminist means you hate men and want more power than them. In reality, feminism is about making sure that women have equal rights. Those rights include rights over their bodies, equal pay, social opportunities, and political representation.
The Women’s Marches that occurred around the world last week embodied, to me, what it is to fight for equality. The mission statement of the organisation who started them reads;
“This march is the first step towards unifying our communities, grounded in new relationships, to create change from the grassroots level up. We will not rest until women have parity and equity at all levels of leadership in society.”
Many men came out in force alongside the women marching, which was humbling to see. Others may not have agreed with the march itself but backed the message behind it. Then of course, there were those who thought the whole thing was a giant middle finger to anyone who doesn’t have a vagina.
One of those people was Piers Morgan , who’s response to the Women’s Marches that took place around the globe a few weeks ago was that he was going to start a “Men’s March”, protesting the “creeping global emasculation of my gender by rabid feminists.” Not that anything Piers Morgan says is worth wasting time or energy on, but his small-minded response struck a chord with me.
The fact of the matter is, no matter what generation you’re from, we are living in a time where possibilities and opportunities to effect change are everywhere. A time of struggle offers the opportunity for a time of unity. To come together and make it through the bad times. I am privileged enough to live in a place where my rights are still intact and I am not being dictated to by a wotsit with a bad toupee. But I know that too many little girls, who might not fully understand what it is going on, are worried about what will happen next.
I hope we can make this a part of history we look back on and say ‘thank god we made things right’, before any more little girls have to fear for her future.