Today is International Women’s Day, so naturally, I wasn’t on Facebook long before I was irritated and disgusted by the way some people view women’s issues.
From denial about wage gaps to the need for an International Men’s Day, attempts to belittle and deny the need for social change serve as a double-edged sword.
Although I’m sure those small minded people don’t realize it, their snarky and immature comments prove just why a day recognizing women’s rights is needed.
The issues facing women around the word vary wildly, but regardless of where you go women are always second and face disrespect, hate, and some form of violence, regardless of if they choose to accept or acknowledge it.
Right now as I write this women and girls around the world are being kidnapped, raped, murdered, abused, mutilated, and belittled.
Made to feel like they’re alone in the world, that their lives don’t matter, and that things will never change.
This is why today’s so important!
Compared to many my life has been one of privilege, but that does not mean there haven’t been challenges or moments when I felt the sting of a woman’s plight.
When I say privilege I don’t mean that my life has been a breeze and everything has been given to me. I have worked hard to be where I am, what I have achieved, and where I’m going.
However, by simply being born in Canada, to a white mother (my folks are together but biracial), born outside of poverty, and allowed to have an education, my life is a million times better than many.
Privilege is a hard thing for people to come to terms with because it sounds like a dirty word.
For some it makes them feel as though others are judging them and saying they’re ungrateful, while to others it means they’ve been given opportunities that not everyone gets.
Unfortunately, despite my privileges, my gender has lead me to experience things that have hurt me, but also made me stronger.
The importance of today has been demonstrated in my life by the fact that I or female friends have experienced the following things;
- Been drugged at a bar
- Sexually abused
- Emotionally abused
- Physically abused
- Verbally abused
- Had a man refuse to address or speak to her
- Pain and suffering belittled
- Judged on decisions revolving around reproduction
- Judged for parenting choices
- Objectified and sexualized
- Forced to work in unsafe situations, while pregnant at that
- Controlled and manipulated
- Biased assumptions based on appearance
- Intelligence belittled (mansplaining and then some)
Only in a sad and troubled world can a woman’s life of privilege still be filled with violations in all aspects of their existence.
My list is the norm, my list is reality, my list is a gleaming example of how our society not only created this sad truth but continues to nurture it through patriarchy and rape culture.
My list is an example of why we need today.
When you write down the bare bone truths about the struggles people face it becomes a lot more real and a lot harder to deny that things are not right.
We live in a world where injustices are forced on people of all races, religions, and cultures, but what we fail to acknowledge is that it is ALWAYS worse on women.
From the richest most powerful countries to those filled with war and poverty, women find themselves disrespected, considered to be less than equal, less than valuable, and less than human.
We live in a world where although there have been great changes and improvements in the quality of life, at the same time we begin to move backward.
We live in a world where countries decriminalize domestic abuse, where a woman’s right to govern her own body is taken away, and where husbands can legally rape their wives.
We live in a troubled world where women have been taken advantage of and abused for too long and we are finally standing up.
Today, all around the world women are taking a stand against a society that has done a great disservice to them.
They are standing for the rights of themselves, as well as the rights of others.
They stand because they know to not do so means that we continue to live a life controlled and dictated by those who disrespect us, what we do, and how important we are in this world.
Today we stand because we live in a world filled with women worth fighting for.