As I logged onto Facebook after a joyous and victorious day, I was hurt, but not surprised at what I saw. From both men and women, I saw posts bashing the Women’s March on Washington because of the principles that millions of men and women were fighting for.
I knew this would happen. From the small town I came from, people do not understand the importance or even what women’s rights mean. I have been told time and time again that I have my rights. I can wear pants and vote. Shouldn’t that be all I want?
The answer is no. I want a lot more. I want to be proud of my body, despite how it looks. I want to have reproductive rights. I want women in my country and around the world to not feel threatened because of their gender.
I could go on and on about the rights I, and millions of other women don’t have. But instead, I want to express why I’m so disheartened by the people, especially the women, who say that they do not need nor support the march.
The march wasn’t just for Americans and against President Trump
A lot of the comments I’ve seen toward the march were women need to stop complaining about President Trump and just deal with it because American women have pretty much everything they need, and if they just work for it, we can all be happy middle-class Americans.
The issue is we can’t. So many women and men will work their entire lives and never be where so many who discredit the march are at. They will continue to be in poverty, mostly because welfare and poverty are a vicious cycle. Middle class is a fairy tale for many, and they may not get the help they need, especially under Trump’s rule.
Women also do not have everything in America. I’m a college student who likes to work out at night and visit my friends past 4:00. I usually don’t do these things once the sun sets. Why? Because women across the world must watch out for attackers. We must watch our backs every time we walk alone at night. We carry pepper spray and our keys between our fingers to fight off any unwanted attack.
Women have a lot to fight for, and yes, Trump is an issue. Why? He openly has talked about sexually assaulting women and completely degrades them. I’m sorry if you like random men grabbing your pussy without your consent, but I don’t. I’m sorry if you feel that random men should go around grabbing women’s pussies because that’s illegal and morally wrong.
So yes, a lot of women were protesting Trump’s presidency yesterday, but I must remind you that they were fighting for so much more. They were fighting for rights of their own bodies, for the futures of their daughters, and just better lives for women in general.
You’re in control of your body, but for how long?
Some women argued that they are already in control of their bodies. To that, I say, congratulations! You’re lucky, because not every woman is.
The girl who accidently got pregnant even after she used birth control is not in control of her body when her state passed the “Heartbeat Bill.”
The woman who has to stop getting her birth control because she can no longer afford it is not in control of her body.
Even the man who is transgender but still has to go to the OBGYN because getting the reproductive surgery wasn’t part of his transition is not in control of his body when he has to pay out of pocket for each visit.
So as you can see, a lot of women and men are not in control of their body. I’m also going to point out that a lot of women aren’t in control because the media is forcing them to believe their current image is not good enough. They must diet and workout constantly because women aren’t pretty unless they’re a size 4…
You call me selfish, but you clearly don’t see the full picture
What hurts more than anything about the women who are against the march is you all believe we are selfish. There are people in other countries that need our help, and it’s been pointed out in numerous posts. But may I ask you what you’re doing to help those women? Do you spend time in Africa or China or Indonesia? Do you support their health and wellbeing?
You may call me selfish, but I don’t see it that way. What I see is that you’re the one who’s selfish. Now this may be a shocking and controversial statement and it may not be true for every woman, but from what I’ve seen on my Facebook today, a lot of the women who do not support the march are women from middle-class America who have a good life themselves. They did not think about the women who do need the march when they made their post. They did not think about how America is so diverse that maybe, just maybe, some women out there have it worse than them. They did not think about anyone other than themselves and their friends who live the same lifestyle as them.
You’re content, but that does not mean we all are. I hate living in a world where I do not feel safe at night. I hate living in a world where I know girls are not allowed to go to school in many countries once they get their period. I hate living in a world where I am paid less because I have a vagina. I hate living in a world where women believe they must turn on their fellow women to make a point.
So because of that, and a million other reasons, I support the march and I will continue to support the march and my fellow women until the day I die or we no longer have to protest. I will always fight for women’s rights. I will always believe in the power of women. I will always believe we are stronger together.
**Photo Credit: ABC News
***This is an opinion piece and does not support the full views of the UWM Post. The UWM Post is open to all sides and beliefs.