…for misogynists, that is.
March is Women’s History Month. It was created to observe and acknowledge the history of women who have contributed to America’s foundation, but it has evolved to an opportunity where—like other national holidays—we reflect on where we are today and the progress that can still be made. This Women’s History Month, we decided to briefly point out a few of the reasons why the F word is so important. No, not that F word. The other one: FEMINISM.
Theoretically, feminism is about equal political, economic, cultural and social rights for all women, but from the very beginning of the movement women of color, women within the LQBTQIA community, and women of different socioeconomic backgrounds were left out of the conversation. Intersectional feminism is about inclusion. Adding women’s voices from minority groups to the conversation is about upward mobility for all women. If these voices are silenced and willfully ignored, we step into “white feminism” territory. All women do not experience misogyny in the same way, and acknowledging the different ways in which women of a different race, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability and class are oppressed is the first step in a united effort for true equality.
Sex Work Is Work
Whether it’s porn, stripping, domination, escorting or any other alternative within the sex industry, these are forms of legitimate work. Somewhere between obtaining the right to vote and shattering glass ceilings, people forgot that autonomy over our own bodies has always been a large part of the feminist mission. Moral opinions and judgement deserve no audience when it comes to a woman’s body and the work she chooses. Elevating womanhood should not equate to condemning and attempting to disgrace or belittle others for how they choose to embody their personal sense of womanhood. Sex work is a part of women’s history, and the rights of those workers should be a part of the feminist agenda.
My Body, My Choice
Reproductive rights are basic human rights. The fact that there is still large debate over whether a woman should be able to choose if she must carry a child to term is telling of the patriarchy that we still live in. If you were not born with the reproductive organs to give birth to a child, then your emotional and moral judgements of those who do are (and should always be) irrelevant. Your religious views—in a country where religious freedom is constitutional right—are also irrelevant. What is relevant to empowerment and the advancement of women is recognition of the right to autonomy over our own bodies.
Gender Is Not Binary
Binary gender roles effectively pigeonholed women into the role of “housewife” for far too long. Not to say that there is anything wrong with being a housewife, but it’s important to be given a choice. The advancement of women has also long forgotten (or willfully ignored) the plight of their femme sisters. Female-identifying and genderqueer (or non-binary) individuals deserve a seat at the table. Sexuality has always been at the core of oppression for women, and the LGBTQIA communities understand that all too well. Equality of the sexes, sexual preference and the right to shed ourselves of societal gender “norms” is paramount to an inclusive feminist movement.
Equal Pay for Equal Work
This is pretty self-explanatory.
Support One Another
In the end, it comes down to acknowledging the idea that separating race, class, sexuality and ability from someone’s identity is not possible; we must simply support one another for who we are. We are much more powerful together. Lift each other up and hold each other down, because nobody understands the struggle like your fellow woman.
“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.” – Maya Angelou