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Sunday, March 5, 2017

Women's March Reflection

As International Women's Day approaches, and I reflect on how or if I will participate in the Day Without Women protest on March 8th, I realize that I need to reflect further on the Women's March in order to fully grasp the impact of Women's History Month and what it means to me as a woman and as a parent.

I want to come right out and say it: I participated in the Women's March.  My children and I, along with a close friend, drove 2 hours to participate in a "sister" march in a city close to home (D.C. is roughly 11 hours away, so we opted for a closer option).  It was a glorious event.  It was peaceful.  It was inspiring.  And it greatly impacted my children, especially my 13 year old daughter.


Explaining why I marched was simple: I marched because I believe women are equal.  I marched because I believe that women coming together to support each other is important.  I marched because I want women to have equal pay, access to affordable healthcare (as I believe everyone should have), fair treatment, and all the same rights a man has.  I also marched because I believe in equality.  Equality of sex, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, and beliefs.  

Explaining why I brought my children was also simple: I wanted them to witness.  I wanted them to see women coming together in support of each other.  I wanted them to see the power behind standing together.  I wanted them to feel empowered themselves.


The controversy over the Women's March troubles me.  I didn't like that the Women's March was an exclusive event. But the Women's march was about more than "pussy" hats (goodness gracious I HATE that "p" word), anger over the Trump Era, and making a statement on the first full day of Trump's presidency.  It was about Unity of women.  Unity towards a purpose: Equality.  The one issue that I had with the Women's March was that it was exclusionary of certain women.  I recognize that within the Women's Rights movement there is a disconnect between Pro-Choice (typically a liberal view) and Pro-life (typically a conservative view) women and that's what excluded many women, But I think that there are 5 common issues that we can all agree on, and they are the CORE of Women's Rights.  Those 5 things should have bound us together as women regardless of our support or non support of Trump.  These issues should have kept us fighting as one instead of fueling our separation.


Here are the 5 issues I think we can all agree on as Women: 

1. We ALL believe that we should have access to WOMEN'S HEALTHCARE.  This means that we want Women's health issues to be covered by insurance and accessible to all women.  Do we think that all these services be free (ie, paid for by the government or insurance)? No, although that would be nice and some in our movement do want this, we just want these things to be covered by our insurance and be offered to women who can't afford these services as part of their healthcare too.  This includes: access to birth control, access to pap-smears and exams, access to care when needed, maternity coverage (this is HUGE because before the Affordable Care Act mandated this coverage many MANY women didn't have ANY coverage during pregnancy), etc.

2. We ALL believe we should have EQUAL PAY.  It's sad that our mothers and grandmothers fought for this and we are still fighting today.  It's unreal that women on average make 20% less than men do in the same position.  Come on, equal pay just makes since.

3. We ALL believe that as U.S. Citizens we should have EQUAL CIVIL RIGHTS.  This means that we should all be free from discrimination (yes, it's still true that women often get overlooked for a job that they are qualified for because there is a male candidate that also qualifies), free from religious persecution (soooooo important with all the the immigration targeting of Muslim women and lately the targeting of Jewish religious communities)... Basically, we should have all the Civil Rights afforded to us in the Bill of Rights and Constitution.  It's ridiculous that we STILL have to fight for these things in the 21st century. 

4. We believe that our lives should be FREE FROM VIOLENCE.  This is the biggest issue for me.  We should be free to live our lives without the fear of domestic violence.  1 in 10 women experience domestic violence during their lives.  That means 10% of women are beaten or abused by their spouse or parent at some point in their lives.  We should be free to live our lives without the fear that we will be sexually assaulted.  The idea that "Boys will be Boys" is some kind of justification for the sexual abuse of women is infuriating. 

5. We believe that we deserve JUSTICE EQUALITY.   This  means that when abuses of women happen we believe that we should have the right to see our attackers receive punishment that equals that of their crime.  Often, abusive husbands, boyfriends, or father's don't face the life long consequences of their actions the same way that their victims do.  The Brock Turner case clearly shows that there is an injustice here.  It hit a little too close for all of us.  

Yes, there are other issues at stake here too.  LGBTQ issues are involved (with people on both "sides" of the debate), Immigration issues are involved (again with people on both "sides" of the debate), Environmental issues are involved (again, both "sides"), and of course Reproductive Rights are involved.  But I think we should all come together to fight for these 5 fundamental Women's Rights issues because solidarity and unity of purpose is critical for us to achieve our goals.  

The Day Without Women is about these same 5 issues, but with a slightly different twist: instead of marching FOR women's issues, the Day Without Women is a protest meant to highlight the economic impact of women.  The whole premise is that women have a GIANT impact on our economy and if our nation feels this impact then our government will be more likely to respond to our "demands".  

Did you participate in the Women's March? How did your children participate? What did you march for?  How did you feel about the exclusion of some women from the March?  Please share your RESPECTFUL comments below


4 comments:

  1. I am for all of these issues you listed. Personally I was turned off from the foul language, scant clothing or lack of clothing, hate being spewed forth, horrible hats, really tired of actress and movie people, tv people thinking they speak for me. I have a voice and can speak for myself.

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    1. I had similar issues with the march in DC. While I recognize that tensions were high and the speakers spoke with passion, I think that the language that was used was inappropriate, especially considering the children in attendance. And I agree about the "Hate" speech issue. Thankfully, the "sister" march I went to didn't have any of the foul language or blatantly disrespectful speech that was seen/heard from the DC march. It is certainly coming from both sides, and that is part of why I created this blog. We need to find a respectful middle-ground that allows us to cooperate and move forward as ONE NATION. Thank you for your comment Candace! Your respectfulness is greatly appreciated.

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  2. VERY inappropriate language - some inappropriate speakers too

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    1. We all just need to remember that we are individuals with our own thoughts and opinions and that the celebrities and speakers at these marches and rallies don't necessarily represent each of us equally.

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