International Women’s Day

In light of International Women’s Day, I want to encourage all women not to just be glad you’re a woman, not just to reflect on all of your individual accomplishments, not just to pat yourselves on the backs, or even to just say thank you for all the rights we’ve gained as a result of feminists hard work over the years. I ask that we think about the women in the rest of the world who are living like second class citizens, the second class citizens we women privileged enough to live in Western culture, never lived like, not even in our history books.

I ask that we acknowledge the trivial pursuits, complaints, and agendas of our everyday lives and think about the hundreds of thousands of women that are victims of sex trafficking every day in places like Thailand and France. Think about all the women forced into prostitution who will be arrested, while their enslavers go free. I ask that when you get into your car you think about the Saudi Arabian women who’ve been killed and arrested for trying to drive, as they are currently living in the only country in the world that doesn’t give them that right. When you fight your boyfriend for looking at another woman today, think about all the Muslim women whose husbands can have up to four wives, but they can hardly interact with other men. When you flirt with a man today, think about the young girl in Saudi Arabia who was killed by her father for flirting with a British soldier. New mothers, when you breastfeed your newborns today, be glad you’re not in Saudi Arabia being forced to breastfeed men in order to establish a “maternal” bond so that they can enter your home without you being accused of promiscuity. When you choose your clothes to go out tonight and dress as skimpy as you please, think about the women living in the Middle East that are forced to cover themselves in vales so that they don’t tempt men. As a woman of any age, rejoice that you aren’t in countries like Mali where you can be forced to subject yourself to the pain and health risks of genital mutilation just so you can eventually have a husband and avoid being ridiculed by your community. As much as we fight for rights for the LGBT community in America, for today, be glad you don’t live in countries like China, India, or Russia where it is still considered illegal, and in China, you are not even allowed the right to adopt a child. In comparison to the social warfare women around the world live in, we are not only blessed, but our qualms echo through media and campaigns that we create, while their true pains go silenced by political, economic, religious, and social conflict.

It’s a shame that in America, we still have not gotten the Equal Rights Act passed into law; we are still seen as responsible when we’re sexually abused if we have a sexual history or we’re not dressed as 90 year old women; and we are still seen as weak. But today, as a woman, I count my blessings and I thank those who fought for the privileges I now view as my rights. I pray for all the women who are still living the struggle and I hope one day I can contribute to the cause.


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