This is me, raw and uncensored. It is probably the most honest I will ever be in an online forum. My blog is mainly centered on my business, my family, peripherally my life. Politics are not something I take lightly, nor do I believe that they should have a place in my business proper, but my business is a personal one, and my blog is my voice, and I have a few things to share. Please feel free to skip this post if you want, or read it if you’d like more insight into who I am. I’d love your comments pro or con, and understand that my views are not perhaps the same as yours, but as always I am me at the end of the day, passionate, curious, hopeful, adventurous, caring, just a woman living a simple life, usually trying to spread a little happiness when I can.
Women’s issues are so complex, there are so many avenues in which we aren’t treated fairly. There is not one quick fix, or simple remedy that will make everything better. But we have to hope that every step we take towards equality, and everytime our voices are heard and given the importance that they deserve we are closing that gender gap which should never have been allowed to get so wide in the first place.
I am going to march on Washington DC in January. After reading an article recently against the march, which I found important and insightful, I am feeling like I need to explain why. The article made me first feel like I shouldn’t go, and then it made me feel that my voice doesn’t matter, that I am taking away a voice that needs to be heard. That by going to this march I am hurting the black community. I thought about why I am going. What this march means to me. I am not going to fight Trump, although if it would work, I would. I am going to fight some of the hatred he has allowed to permeate our great country. I am going because I am a woman. I feel women need to be heard. Women, all women, deserve to be treated equally. Paid equally. Regardless of race, religion, sexual preference. Women deserve to feel safe. Families should never feel threatened no matter their make up. Women deserve to have control over what happens to their bodies, not the government. Women’s rights are human rights. Women need to be treated with respect, and equality is the largest form of respect. Women deserve equality. I am going to stand in solidarity with women, to celebrate our diversity, to celebrate that which I keep talking about, that our strength as Americans lies in our individuality as people.
And, I am going because I believe in strength in numbers, I want to embrace being a woman and celebrate with other women (and of course the children and men who support them), and share some joy in these hard days. I am going to celebrate unity. I am going to celebrate friendship, old and new, and I am going to simply celebrate. To stand united with all women in peace.
Helen Reddy’s words keep ringing through my brain, “I am woman hear me roar, in numbers too big to ignore… …I am strong (strong), I am invincible (invincible), I am woman…”
The article I read about told me I shouldn’t take part in the march because it is not being inclusive to black women and that the organizers took a black women’s march and turned into into a white woman event by using the name of a previous African-American march. I knew nothing of any of this when I chose to march, but I was saddened to read it. This march shouldn’t be yet another thing that separates us, this march should be something to bring us together. The organizers agree that it needs more diversity and have been reaching out through their leadership so that all women, and everyone that supports women can go if they choose to. I am marching for all women, and I hope that there are women from all races, religions, LGBTQIA communities there marching with me. I read in the article how I am a privileged white woman, and I am. I can not change the circumstances of my birth. About how I can’t speak for black women, of course not, but I can support them and stand beside them. That I changed Black Lives Matter into All Lives Matter. Which I didn’t. Not me personally. I am not a fan of generalizations, and I am in full support of Black Lives Matter. But then I realized, on this last point the author wasn’t entirely wrong I am sorry to say.
When I very first heard about the Black Lives Matter movement, I spoke with my husband and daughter about it at dinner one night, and asked why all lives don’t matter? How can it not be racism for just the black lives to matter?, I asked. It makes me uncomfortable I said. But then, like I do when I don’t understand something, I learned more about it. I read articles, I found all of the information that I could and was ashamed and embarrassed by my first response, by my ignorance, by my limited view of the world, by my privilege, by my very white-ness. And I fully supported the movement. Well, again, I might have to add, fully supported, in that I posted a photograph on my Facebook wall of three black women holding a sign that says, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor” – Desmond Tutu. And I hash-tagged it #BlackLivesMatter. And then I thought about so many of my conservative friends and I wasn’t ready for the fight. I didn’t have time to argue with people who’s beliefs were not the same as mine. I didn’t want to know which of my friends would be all in my face about all lives mattering to be honest. I hadn’t at that point posted anything even slightly political on my Facebook page. Ever. I didn’t even ‘like’ political posts or pages. I didn’t believe in politics online. I deleted the hashtag. I kept the image though. I chose the side of the oppressor, but acknowledged and stuck out my tongue at the injustice. I dipped my toes in the water but refused to take the plunge. I didn’t have the energy to stand up for what I believe in. I didn’t want to take the time to fight for people who have spent their entire existence having to fight to be heard, to be seen, to be equal. Again, I am at a loss as to how I could have been so complacent on such an important issue. When I thought I was doing the right thing. When I wanted to be doing the right thing.
Along came this election season. I realized very soon, I am too opinionated and too political to ignore what was going on in my country. I still was, and am, very mellow in my political offerings online, I stood up for myself and fellow Democrats a few times when I felt we were being thrown under a bus mostly due to those hated generalities, I posted a few anti-Trump items. I posted Black Lives Matters articles, and photos when I couldn’t stand the racism and hate, (complete these times with Black Lives Matter headlines), but my voice has been tentative. Quiet. I am unsure why I care about the feelings of those people who don’t agree with me. I am unsure as to why I feel that it is not okay for me, on my own page, to make any statement I want. I am fed up with the intolerance. I am ready to be strong, invincible, and fight for the rights of girls and women everywhere. I am realizing that if I offend you because you don’t stand up for the rights of all humans, everywhere, it is okay, we probably aren’t really friends any way.
I have always, quietly in the background, been a strong voice for girls and women, and I hope that my words have been heard and taken to heart. I believe in change at the grassroots level, and I like to believe that my simple actions may have helped to empower girls that I have taught and shared ideas with over the years, including my own daughter, but I am no longer satisfied to allow someone else to be the one fighting. I want to be there next to them, with them, whatever their colour, race, religion, sex, sexual preference, roaring loudly.
Women are always fighting injustice, from the small everyday to those life changing moments. Everyday examples include how we choose to present ourselves to the world. I choose not to dye my hair, I have been told that I can not allow my hair to turn gray because I will become one of those freaky old women with long, curly, gray hair (like that is a bad thing, lol), although a group of friends convinced me to continue never dyeing my hair as they said they will then look younger than me as we age. I don’t wear make up except for very seldomly, and when I do, I am always called out on it, ‘you are wearing make up, it looks good’, making me think they must think I look bad in my natural state? I have been told it is no wonder that I only have one child, as my footwear of choice 75 percent of the time is Birkenstocks, implying I am less sexy because of what I wear. I have been sexually assualted on three occassions, none ever reported because it was a boyfriend (although not after that night), a friend’s uncle, a friend, and it was easier to sweep it under the rug than speak up for myself. These are things that happen to women. My husband has never been asked why he doesn’t dye his hair which started turning gray in our 30’s. My husband has never been told he would look better with mascara. Or lipstick. He has not had the humiliation of violation of his body. Men age better than women they tell us. I think it is simply because we allow them to convince us of that. We have different standards for aging, and different acceptance of the same. Women have been told for so long that they are not good enough, not sexy enough, not thin enough, not whatever enough, and we have allowed it to impermeate our very souls. It is time that we are accepted as ourselves in every way, in the way that we see our own selves, without society’s input. This is what I’m fighting for. Which is so trivial when you put it next to being killed for the colour of your skin. But each injustice adds to the next. Each acceptance of intolerance allows more intolerance. This is not divided by race, religion, sexual identity, this is humanity at it’s core. Fighting for women’s rights goes so deep, when every step has a long history to overcome behind it.
I have a Pinterest board called ‘Empowerment’, as many of my boards do, it started mostly with great photographs, in this one they were mostly of the women’s suffrage movement. Over recent days, I’ve found myself liking edgier, more forceful, more in your face perhaps, feminist images and slogans. You know, ‘the Ovary gang’ and the like, haha. When I was having lunch with my husband, perusing images, and I contemplated adding an embroidered image that said ‘Viva la Vulva’ I looked at my husband, laughed, and said, ‘honey, this could be a long four years, you might want to hang on tight…’ I subsequently did add it, because it makes me laugh. I love the idea of someone sitting there thinking, ‘yeah, that’s what I’m going to embroider today…’
“It is time to take a stand as never before: shout it from the rooftops of social media, protest in the streets, become politicized. It is time to think about who your friends are and whose side they are on. It is time to be brave, to defend our freedoms. It is time for women to march on Washington and it is time for men to stand with us.” –Vivienne Mayer
I am a white woman, there is nothing I can do to change that. I am not Jewish, nor Muslim. I am not gay. I am an immigrant, though I came here legally and have been a citizen since long before I could vote. I can not understand what it is to be black or anything other than what I am, nor can I assume to understand what anyone else has to contend with, but I can be supportive of other people, empathetic, compassionate, a voice. I can educate myself. I can learn of other cultures. I can share in their art, their words, their communities. I can offer my open hand in a peace offering to anyone who wants or needs to hold it.
In the words of a woman I greatly admire, advice to girls everywhere. “Never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams”. – Hillary Clinton
Pursuing and achieving will be easier when we are treated equally and with complete respect. All women. All people. Equal. Period.
And so I will march. Peacefully making my voice heard. Roaring with every ounce of my being.
I am woman
I am invincible
I am strong
I am woman
I am invincible
I am strong
I am woman