Women's Rights ARE Human Rights
empowered women, empower women
Anyone who reads this blog regularly has seen the quote "Empowered Women, Empower Women" displayed on my brochures, forms, and social media accounts. I fell in love with that quote last June when I stumbled across an article about Susan B. Anthony and Rosa Parks. I found the quote right around the time I was researching how to start my blogging business. The quote really stuck with me and I was using it regularly. I was fortunate enough to vote in my first presidential election this past fall, as were many others. I've looked forward to this for years. Was I thrilled with the election results? No. Am I a monster for not being excited for these next 4 (possibly 8) years? No. That is the beauty of democracy; I get an opinion and if I wish to peacefully state that or protest, I have every right to do so. The women who proudly marched were doing exactly the same thing. "Empowered Women, Empower Women" is a quote that I find extremely important, especially in the world we are living in today. I look at that quote and relate it to this election, and those who marched were feeling the same way.
Watching the women's march that took place across the globe was an extremely exciting and humbling day for me. I had chills running down my spine as I listened to the speakers share their thoughts and emotions. As a younger woman who proudly believes in women's rights, freedom of speech, peaceful protests, and more, this peaceful march was simply amazing. I was watching one of the biggest historical events live on my television. All I could do was wish I had traveled so I could participate in one of the major events. Not once did I ever think the march was taking on a negative message. The individuals marching were peaceful, passionate and excited to march for their rights. The speeches that were given were both moving and honest and for that reason, I loved to hear everything they had to say.
When you put thousands and thousands of people together and not one person is arrested for violence and not one person arrested for doing anything illegal, and make the world stand alongside you (literally, because all 7 continents participated), you're doing something right. The march was a direct symbol of what America is and always should be: open to all and free to stand up for what you believe in.
experience from someone who attended a march
I got to chat with Allison Maggy who had photos, experiences and information to share that made the march seem worth it. I wanted to see if she thought this march was offensive or horrible the way some made it out to be. I wanted to know how she felt about the situation America is in right now. I chose to interview Allison Maggy because she attended one of the largest marches in New York City and made a point to share facts vs. fiction on her personal accounts and almost everyday I was reading her page to hear more. She was educated, up to date and she really cared about this election. Her photos are shared throughout this article and I suggest taking a look if you haven't paid close enough attention to them yet.
Why were you personally attending the march?
"Because there is a large degree of uncertainty right now with the Trump administration and a lot of people stand to have basic rights taken away from them. Trump ran a campaign rooted in a hateful rhetoric. The march presented an opportunity to unite and show the new administration that is stripping people of basic rights and cutting funding for and dismantling crucial programs is unacceptable."
How would you describe the event both physically & emotionally?
"Upon arrival, I was moved to tears. To be honest, I cried all morning while watching footage of marches happening all over the world. While I was at the march, I started tearing up every time the crowd would start cheering or chanting. It was a really emotional experience for me. There is something really profound that happens when that many people come together to stand up for what is right."
Did you feel like the atmosphere around you was full of positive energy or more concerning, negative energy? This seems to be an ongoing debate in the media.
"I only felt positive energy. There was an air of determination. I think people as a whole are really motivated now to go out and advocate for policies that they care about in a way that they weren't before. You could feel that energy from the crowd. I think that after 8 years with the Obama administration, we got comfortable. As Madonna said in her speech from D.C., 'It took this horrific moment of darkness to wake us the f*** up.'"
Do you recall any favorite/specific moments that impacted you during the parade?
"I went up on the bridge next to Grand Central overlooking the crowd at one point and looking down into this endless sea of strangers holding signs and marching proudly besides each other was amazing. It was another moment of: wow, this many people care."
What do you hope comes from this march?
"I hope people use this as a stepping stone to take action - myself included. It is easy when life gets busy to kind of put it off or to grow complacent and comfortable if policies don't immediately impact you. I hope people find ways to stay engaged and take action. It can be as simple as calling your representative or volunteering at a non-profit or donating to an organization you care about. The march actually just launched a campaign (10 Actions for the first 100 days) so I hope people keep the momentum going and stay motivated. The next few years are going to be really bumpy, to say the least."
Do you think this march accomplished exactly what it set out to do?
"I think this march will have achieved its purpose if it inspires people to take action. I do think the march has inspired people, whether they were present or not, to be vocal and advocate for crucial issues. Hopefully there will be a follow through. The march also set out to send a bold message to the Trump administration that women's rights are human rights. Whether it is publicly acknowledged by them or not, that message was definitely received."
It is believed that in the coming months there may be several more protests for anyone looking to attend, do you recommend women get out there and attend?
"Yes! I think there is definitely a strength in numbers when it comes to inspiring people to act. But, while marches and protests are good tools for garnering support and raising awareness and voicing opposition to harmful policies, it is really important to take further action to enact any sort of meaningful change. The 2018 midterm elections will be really important, as will the 2020 Presidential race. So, commit to being involved in some way! Volunteer or apply for a job or an internship on a campaign in your district. Volunteer or donate to an organization you're passionate about. There are a number of opportunities to get involved and whether you want something to dedicate your time to or something that is less time-consuming, get involved and keep the momentum going."
For future generations that will someday learn about this march in their history class and in their textbooks, what would you tell your children and grandchildren about this march as a whole? What would you tell them about the election?
"I am honestly still processing everything. This election highlighted a divide in our country that was obviously already there. I really don't know how you would explain this to children and grandchildren, though. A man who called Mexicans criminals and rapists, who said he wanted to ban an entire religion from entering the country, who said disgusting comments about women, who mocked a disabled reporter - that man won the election. How do you explain that? The march was a good reminder that good does exist. It showed how many people really care, not just about making a better life for themselves, but making the world a better place for everyone. Because that is really the main difference between both sides, in my opinion. What Trump supporters have in common - whether they are wealthy or poor or somewhere in between - is that they favor policies that really personally impact them and could make their life better. And the other side - the people who marched and the people who supported the march - have a much broader view of the impacts of policies and want to make life better for all people, not just themselves. It's confusing to me that people are so divided on this. Caring about other people should not be a partisan issue."
"Equal rights for others does not mean less rights for you"
EVERYONE was welcome at this march and that is what made it unlike anything else. It didn't matter what ethnicity you were, which religion you believe in/follow, the color of your hair, how many toes you have, how big your nose is, because everyone marched as ONE united force and for the same exact reasons. Whether you support this march or not, you have to give some credit to this is amazing movement. For all the women who didn't give credit to where it is deserved and thank those marchers who marched FOR them (whether they like it or not), I will personally send my thank you on their behalf. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. You made history in an extraordinary way.
the advocacy of women's rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes
You don't need to label yourself a die-hard feminist to believe in this march. I feel that every woman should support feminism somewhere in their head and heart, but you don't have to consider yourself a feminist publicly if that helps you sleep at night. I am a firm believer in expressing yourself and what you believe in, but I am also a firm believe in the idea that women should always want other women to be great, excel and get anything they may need (financially, medically and emotionally). It is 2017 and the reason I say you should believe in feminism is strictly because we should be treated like we are just as intelligent, deserving and capable as the men. We deserve every single right the men have and continue to be given. Equality of the sexes is a positive in the world and I think it is a necessity and I can't figure out why people think it is a debatable topic after all these years and after all these protests, debates and arguments. Women should want women to have equal rights, have the medical care they wish to receive, and get paid the same amount as the male working the same job position as them. If you choose to be a stay at home mom, that is totally fine, I'm happy for you because you can choose that job, but the women who choose to work a major job in a corporation should make just as much as men in the corporation working alongside with them. Sex does not define intelligence, success, capabilities or anything like that, nor should it. Women should want to see other women succeed always, not just during the span of the presidency term(s) that we are in right now. Don't put a time limit on our abilities, our success, our capabilities, the amount of money we should be paid, the medical decisions we should make for our bodies, etc. Women can handle taking care of themselves and their body, we don't need to be told what to do. I was raised to believe that I know my body better than anyone else, so why should someone else tell me what to do with it? Women's rights are not a negotiable topic, they are human rights and they should stay that way. We should want every women to have the best life they can have and receive the best support, opportunities and care that the world can give.
Feminism does not mean you are against men. If you believe that is what this means, you are wildly mistaken. Feminism is a great thing. Feminism is something we need more of in the United States. Feminism is something you should be proud of. Feminism is something we should be proud to represent.
Thank you, Allison!!
The #1 trending post I saw on Facebook posted by those who did not support the march is below:
"I am a woman.
I can make my own choices.
I can speak and be heard.
I can VOTE.
I can work if I want.
I control my body.
I can defend myself.
I can defend my family.
There is nothing stopping me to do anything in this world but MYSELF.
I do not blame my circumstances or problems on anything other than my own choices or even that sometimes in life, we don't always get what we want. I take responsibility for myself.
If you want to speak, do so. But do not expect for me, a woman, to take you seriously while you are wearing a pink vagina hat on your head and screaming profanities and bashing men."
We are all entitled to our own opinions, I get it. But let me give you mine...
Your rights are currently being questioned. Controlling your body, speaking and being heard, defending yourself as a woman and defending your family as a woman only happened in history fairly recently. Nobody was blaming anyone. Nobody was rejecting responsibility and quite frankly I thought that line was a typo...it didn't belong there. The only reason you can do ALL of those things in that list is because a woman protested & fought FOR YOU.
The pink hats were not "vagina" hats. If a vagina hat offends you, you should be taking that up with the man who brags about grabbing them. If he hadn't bragged about grabbing them in the first place, these hats wouldn't exist. Nobody was screaming profanities, they were voicing their opinion (have you heard of freedom of speech?). These women did not march to "bash men", as I stated in the section about feminism. Men are not our enemy, but in this battle the men who want to take away women's rights are trying to hurt us so that isn't exactly being our friend or playing for our team. These protests were not created to attack the male population and if you think that is why it was created, you missed the entire point. The march was a way to express that we should not be losing our rights (which are human rights). Those who are trying to hurt women by taking away their rights should take a step back and really think about the damage they will be doing. These women marched because they want to be treated equally and we also want to make sure our rights are protected.
Our rights should never be questioned.
The purpose of this march was not to leave a negative footprint, upset those who did not support it, etc. If you need a direct summary of what this march actually stood for, please research it before judging it. I attached below the direct description and I think it is very simple to understand: (please click the link in orange to read and research more)
Women’s March Global invites individuals and organizations committed to equality, diversity, and inclusion and those who understand women’s rights as human rights to join our local coalitions of marchers in representing the rights and voices of progressive people around the world.
As concerned citizens standing up for human rights, Women’s March Global immediately seeks to increase the number of coalitions participating in the upcoming global marches, while continuing to organize future campaigns. Women’s March Global is building and empowering a persistent global network that will organize future campaigns and actions in support of progressive values including women’s rights.
Women’s March Global is a proactive international movement, not a U.S. election-specific protest per se, which has galvanized people to defend women's rights and those of others in response to the rising rhetoric of far-right populism around the world.
Those who marched would have felt so relieved if someone from Trump's administration publicly stepped out and said: "we hear you, we respect you, we want you to feel welcome and comfortable and we certainly don't want you to lose sleep at night over this. We want to make America better by respecting women's rights just as much as men's rights."
But they didn't, which isn't a huge surprise, obviously. Instead (as usual), Trump decided to voice his opinion on twitter, because that is what politics in America has come to...tweeting everything, no matter how offensive, insensitive, false and ridiculous it really is.
Keep in mind, the bottom tweet was posted first. His initial statement on this march was "Why didn't these people vote?" Most of the individuals who were out there marching absolutely voted (as long as they were allowed, of age, etc.). The day of the march the celebrities did not attend because they were simply celebrities with higher pay checks than us. They marched because like all of us, they were concerned. I wish Donald Trump understood that celebrities are human just like us. They have the platform to share their thoughts, get the media to hear them and report it and then they get to step down and participate the same way the men and women of America did. They are just as concerned as the rest of us.
The tweets Trump sent out that day lacked compassion, common sense, intelligence and proved the exact reason why women and men chose to march in the first place. Our President comes across as heartless, careless, uneducated and more. Why wouldn't the people march? Our POTUS should be able to relate to EVERYONE in this great country. Whether he is a democrat or republican, a man or a woman, he should be a human first.
The Details on "Pink Pussy Hats"
nothing about them is meant to be crude, racy or inappropriate
These hats were created as a symbol. Let me refresh everyone's memory, these pink hats would not be a part of any of this if President Trump had not publicly stated he would "grab a woman's pussy" in a resurfaced 2005 video. Pick your battles, ladies and gents. Billy Bush (who was also in the video as President Trump spoke this way) was punished and lost his job because it is not something adults should be saying or discussing. It is morally incorrect, whether you admit it or not. If President Trump had followed through with everything he said in the video, it would have been a sexual assault case. You can't label blatant disrespect and harassment as "locker room talk" and expect the women in the world to accept it and think you are excused and it is understandable. If that is how old men talk in the locker room, I am extremely disgusted and I am also worried about where the maturity of anyone hanging out in that specific locker room is. (& Please don't be mad that I called him old, because HE WAS OLD when he said it and should have known better.)
America needs to stop justifying this behavior. Long story short, you can't be mad at the women for reacting (and wearing a pink hat to symbolize what they believe in) when someone offended them and started the discussion. In this case, it just happened to be our President of the United States who used a horrible word in a horrible way towards women and instead of accepting responsibility, labeled it as locker room talk.
For the Future
After reading this article, I really hope women have a more open mind in terms of their rights and why Republican's threatening to take away their rights isn't fair. Feminism is not bad and protesting is not bad. This march was a march for history. I, for one, am proud to be a woman. I really hope that someday when I have children and grandchildren who grow up to be intelligent men and women, they are fortunate enough to have the same rights I have now. That includes the right to have birth control, decide who they want to love and not be bullied for it, decide what they want to do with their body, voting without being called names (like "snowflake") based on who they chose to cast their ballot for, marching publicly to share their opinion, express their freedom of speech, receive equal pay, experience the possibility of becoming a CEO of a giant corporation, attending college, owning their own home. If I ever have a daughter, I would want her to feel like the possibilities are endless and the decisions she wants to make for her body and for herself are simply because that is what she wants to do. If I have a son, I would want him to grow up understanding that women deserve the same respect and they are just as deserving, powerful and intelligent. I feel like everyone should want their child to understand those things. Be the better & bigger person.
Women have never received anything easy. We are so fortunate to receive the benefits we do and have the right to choose. Go ahead and chant, "make America great again" and chant, "build the wall", but the sad reality is that America is already great, America is already strong, America is already free. America should be a safe haven for our people and those looking to come to a place full of possibility, safety and human rights...banning people from entering is not what we are. Stop threatening to build walls around things and start putting up some stable bridges. Let's make sure we move forward and not back. Let's march with these women, not against. Let's make sure we empower women and continue doing so for the rest of America's existence.
Another really important point: this article is not meant to offend or upset anyone. I really just felt like it was important for everyone to understand why women were marching and why it was a great movement, not a bad one. Whatever your political party may be, I understand it and respect it. I just hope you understand & respect ours too.