I Will Never Understand Women Who Won’t Stand Up For Other Women

Flickr / Kathy Drasky
Flickr / Kathy Drasky

In the midst of an already divided nation, the country, and the world came together in an act of love, support, and defiance known as the Women’s March. In an incredible display of understanding and togetherness, speaking to how deeply connected not only every woman, but every human is, millions of bodies came together on every continent to march; not only for their own ideals, but for the ideals of others.

This was perhaps the most truly beautiful thing about the march, everybody involved in the march, and everybody living vicariously through IG feeds, live cams, and phone calls. Each person, regardless of color, background, religion, etc. did have their own agenda they were marching for.

Some were worried for their reproductive rights. Others worried for their children’s education. Many wanted equal pay and the abolishment of the Pink Tax. So many women marched for general equality spanning across the barrier that seems to divide, not only genders today, but races, religions, and socioeconomic statuses. Everybody cared about themselves, but they also cared about each other, and this remarkable.

While remarkable it may be, I did find myself in the midst of watching these events unfold (on my IG timeline unfortunately, a fact I am still slightly bitter about. Thank you epilepsy) that a display of support such as this was considered remarkable. Why was this not common place? I do not mean hundreds of thousands of women (men, as well), taking over entire cities, but just the general understanding that we are in this life together and because of that must stick up for one another?

Of course, my question was answered almost immediately thanks to the obstinate presence in my life that has become social media. The displays of acceptance and support I saw were quickly taken over by accounts calling the march a march for lesbians, ugly women who couldn’t find anybody willing to rape them, and men threatened by women assembling to gain equal human rights.

Now, when men do this I sort of expect it now. Honestly, I’m preparing myself for the words before they’re even out, which I realize is shitty because not all men are the same, but SO FUCKING MANY DO THIS that it’s difficult not to just assume after a certain point.

I understand that those in power — or men who think they are in control — an assembly so large could shake them right down to their bitter core, but to think it would wrench away their masculinity is absurd. Regardless, when men do it, I can actually understand more than when women are against one another. And boy was there women against this march.

I’m fine with women not participating, or being against the march. I’m not fine with some women making negative comments about those involved in the march, however, based simply on the statements like, “real women should be happy at home with their families,” or, “These fat skanks don’t speak for me.”

While these are nasty comments, for nasty women (See what I did there, ladies?), what I saw most were comments generally saying a march didn’t need to take place at all because it was being held by over-privileged brats with too much at their advantage; the real marches should be taking place in areas where women had no privilege.

This is complicated. After rapid-cycling through various stages of confusion over these comments, my only real thought was, “It has to start somewhere,” followed by, “Some of these women absolutely do not have the same advantages of others and, quite frankly, shut the fuck up.”

It saddened me, greatly, when I realized most of these, “get these privileged brats off the streets,” comments were from white women. Because of course they were. If a group of women was going to be the best-off in the U.S. it would be us. Certain groups of women had more privilege than others. Okay. And some women were calling the march and everybody involved a charade because of this, totally missing the point.

These wonderful, smart, strong, beautiful women recognized some of them had more or less privilege than those standing next to them, and that was THE FUCKING POINT. I have something you don’t, but you need it. Let me help you get it, sister. You don’t need this thing now, but you may one day. Let’s secure that right for everybody right now, together.

Together.

It appeared women calling anybody marching a “fat skank who couldn’t find a boyfriend” were not only missing the point, but perhaps also the most privileged of all.

I am happy for women who have never worried about how to afford an expensive box of tampons they need. It’s great if they’ve never been raped, only to face their accuser and be treated like they had done something wrong. It was clear none of these women had ever struggled to afford birth control, or been in a position to need an abortion, by rape, incest, or any other way. Healthcare was not a luxury to them, but a given. They were healthy women with nothing to worry about. And that is really wonderful.

It’s unfortunate they didn’t want to join, we could have used loud, strong, healthy voices like that assuming they understood the purpose of the march. However, if they didn’t, they didn’t. More power to them. I still don’t see the need to sling dirty words at an event that you insist is pointless and, therefore, will never have an impact on you.

I do not understand the division between women and I never will. My younger self might, because my younger self thought most women were against each other because that’s just how women were. That’s actually how girls unwilling to get to know other girls are. Women willing to look into the minds of other women are accepting as hell. They’re tolerant, supportive, creative, radiant souls that are too good for this world. But they were here and they were marching despite what anybody else had to say.

Despite every hateful thing I’ve said myself, despite the negativity surrounding recent political events, and despite the depression that set in most of last year, I’d just like to personally thank everybody in attendance at those marches for lifting what I thought were unshakably low spirits. The sun will rise, things will change, and eventually equality will be achieved. TC mark

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