One of my least favorite things about feminism doesn’t actually have much to do with feminism in and of itself. I’m talking about always having to explain how feminism doesn’t actually promote a negative effect on men. (As if feminism is about men in the first place???) (Also, having to do the whole “whhhelllll, I’m a second-wave feminist, I don’t actually think men are evil, I don’t think we’re better than men, equal rights and opportunities, yadiyadiyada” backtrack.)
When March 8th happened and everyone realized it was International Women’s Day, it sparked a few different things in my own personal circles – chiefly, my own constantly burning desire to see all of the kick-butt women in my life succeed at everything they do., but also a few great conversations with friends and family members.
I didn’t actually start the first conversation. (Unbelievable, right?) It started with someone telling me when Men’s Day was, claiming that “I’m for equality here.”
Ladies and gentlemen, I’m done with the selfishness. Why does everything have to spark the “hEY BUT WHAT ABOUT ME?!” argument?
Black Lives Matter turned into All/Police Lives Matter. Gun Control Now turned into a rampant flame-war about the second amendment. Women’s Day turned into a huge argument about men’s rights. (As if men ever really had to fight for rights in the first place… but what do I know? *sips tea*)
The second you start flipping it around is the second you start ignoring the problem.
Black lives are being taken by police and white men. Sometimes justly, sometimes not. I’m not here to judge. All I’m here to say is that it pains me to see my black friends (and, hello, family members) hurting and being directly impacted by this.
Seventeen people’s lives were brutally cut short and suddenly people are arguing about whether or not teachers should carry guns, as if the people directly and indirectly affected by those lives weren’t just radically altered.
Women are being oppressed, both here in the US and across the world. It’s worse in other places and I don’t take my freedoms for granted, but that doesn’t mean that what happens here isn’t bad, too. Seeing one of my coworkers – who had sold more than anyone else that week – minimized to nothing but her womanhood by a random male customer hurt.
This isn’t to say that white people aren’t being killed by police (they are) or that men aren’t oppressed (jury’s still out on that one), but this isn’t. about. them.
HIghlighting an issue doesn’t mean we’re ignoring others. People who are in denial to further their own selfishness are part of the problem.
Not only is deflection not an effective argument, it doesn’t solve anything. By shedding light on these issues with Black Lives Matter and International Women’s Day, we’re solving the problem. Slowly but surely.
Like my amazing, beautiful, KICK-BUTT sister said, “Just because women are kicking butt doesn’t mean they aren’t having to work harder just to have a seat at the table of success. Women have to be out there kicking butt to be recognized. Today is a day for women to celebrate how far we’ve come. How far our struggles have gotten us. To encourage each other to continue to press on towards equality. It’s not about “women women women. Women are the best, men suck.” It’s about giving us a day to express ourselves and remember the women who helped us fight to come this far. Men have never had to fight for the right to vote, to get an education (shout out to Malala, she’s bitchin’). This is not a day about celebrating how far men’s rights have come. It’s for women. It’s twenty-four hours. Let it be for the women. So please, for the love of any and every women you know, don’t make this about men. Let us have this day and not attempt to shame us for it. It only proves how much we have to fight.”
Rights aren’t equal, therefore we still fight. Continue on, my beautiful fairy goddess warriors.