To the Young Women of the US, why we march.

by , under personal, Pirate, politics

I’m going to do something shocking. And repost something I wrote on another social network. I actually posted this on Tumblr and on FB before I put it here. It was prompted by seeing several young women (all 23 and under) sharing right wing memes insulting women who took part in the Womens March(es).

It breaks my heart to see young women, working 40+ hour work weeks who claim they have the exact same rights as men. Who tear down women who found a way to march (often at economic hardship), just to seem superior.

I don’t care if you don’t understand it. You’re young, and you don’t know the barriers you have yet to hit based on your gender alone. You probably haven’t worked in a field where your wages weren’t set by a union (that was a rude awakening for me, let me tell you). You haven’t seen female workers who’ve been there longer than you hit the glass ceiling again and again, while men who’ve done half the work and been there half the time get promoted. You haven’t had to justify to your boss that your maternity leave won’t affect your work output (much less research filing for disability because your company doesn’t cover it) – that you’ll answer the phone no matter what, even though that’s actually illegal. You haven’t reported sexual harassment to a manager, only to be told they can’t do anything because it’s ‘he said she said’ and you’ll have to suck it up when working with your harasser.

You might not have had to live in a state (or needed services) to get reproductive health care and had to jump through hoops – like driving across the state to see a doctor. I’m not even talking about abortions. I’m talking about regular, affordable health care since it’s only been recently that your birth control, pap smears and mammograms had to be covered. (And probably won’t be much longer)

What I can tell you is that those women aren’t lazy. A lot of those women marched knowing that they were being photographed by the police in order to be identified. They knew it might have repercussions, and yet, they went anyways. They went because they had something to say and wanted the world to listen.

And if they’re lazy… then what does that say about the women all around the world who joined them in solidarity?

Stop tearing other women down. I’m not tearing you down – I’m urging you to respect that there are things you haven’t experienced, and that most of us hope that you NEVER experience. That most of us fight so that you won’t have to deal with it.

Were these women crass? Sure. It was a direct response to the very words used by the man that you helped elect, probably. (I’m basing that off all the hashtags I see on these posts) Want to Make America Great Again? Do a little research. Understand the wage gap (especially as it breaks down for non-white women). Understand the reality for many women in the United States – especially women of different ethnicities and class levels as you.
Just because it hasn’t happened to you yet, doesn’t mean it can’t. Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to help out the women that it IS happening to.

The hardest thing for me is that the attitude of these memes isn’t that “I disagree with you” it’s that “there’s nothing to complain about. If it isn’t a problem that affects me, it isn’t a problem.”

And just because you are young and fortunate enough not to have those issues – doesn’t mean it might not be an issue for you in the future. Personally, I don’t want any woman to have to know what it’s like to be prosecuted for a miscarriage- which bodies do naturally. I’d like you to get to choose your life’s path, instead of having it chosen for you by a group of rich, white men who don’t understand how a woman’s body works.

That’s what feminism is, no matter what a talking head said – even if she’s a woman on the right.