If you think the Women’s March on Washington was just about abortion or protesting the outcome of the election, this article is for you.
According to their website, one of the principles of the march includes the support of “open access to safe, legal, affordable abortion and birth control for all people, regardless of income, location or education.” Planned Parenthood was a “premier partner” of the movement, and yes, many of the protesters were undoubtedly advocating their pro-choice stances.
Even still — I am pro-life, and I support the Women’s March on Washington.
There is more to the march than abortion.
When I read comments from those opposed to the march, I have concluded that these people are confused about the definition of women’s rights. They are not concerned with, recognize or understand that social equality is part of the definition.
Type in “Women’s Rights” into Google and the Oxford dictionary definition appears as follows: “Rights that promote a position of legal and social equality of women with men.” Yes, voting is a piece of women’s rights. But perhaps the best way to explain what women’s rights are is by telling you what it is not.
It is not being told that women are best kept in the home while men are best at providing monetary value through traditional work. It is not the idea that women’s emotions make them weaker and less capable of making decisions. It is not calling women “bossy” and men “assertive”.
It is not hoping our daughters marry doctors instead of hoping they become doctors. It is not this constant objectification of women in music, advertisements, movies — you name it. It is not Hispanic women being paid 55 cents compared to a white man’s dollar.
It is not the idea that femininity is inherently second-rate. That when I open a door for myself, I am stripping a man of his masculinity. Boys will be boys, and little boys push little girls because they like them. Catcalling should be taken as a compliment — even if the words send a chill down your spine and make you hasten your step.
It is not calling a woman with multiple sexual partners a “slut” in disgust, while calling a man with several sexual partners a “player” with a wink. That short skirts are asking for it. It is not teaching women to watch their drinks and failing to teach their male counterparts the definition of rape and sexual assault, until it’s too late. Then, women keeping their sexual assault stories under wraps because going to the authorities is “not worth the hassle”. It is certainly not calling rape, “twenty minutes of action”.
So yes, Tomi Lahren, considering one in five women has been the victim of attempted or completed rape in their lifetime, perhaps some feminists are using “the victim card”, because they actually are victims.
The Women’s March on Washington was in protest of these social injustices no matter how big or how small. One of the very first sentences in the first unity principle of ending violence is: “Women deserve to live full and healthy lives, free of all forms of violence against our bodies.”
But the list of unity principles goes on. The march was also about reproductive rights, LGBTQIA rights, worker’s rights, civil rights, disability rights, immigrant rights and environmental justice.
The march is for our daughters, our mothers, our grandmothers, our tias, our sisters and ourselves. We march for those in other countries where women do not even have the voice to protest. America is supposed to be the leaders of the world, and yet we justify our micro aggressions simply because “at least we’re doing better than the societies in other countries.” This idea that there are other women who have it worse does not justify even the slightest bit of sexism.
In the same way many choose to support a presidential candidate despite not agreeing with all of their political stances, I support the Women’s March on Washington despite their stance on abortion. I won’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.
The march will not take Trump out of office, but the march was never designed for that anyway. Its mission and vision was to “send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights. [To] stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.”
And if you don’t understand the correlation between many of these social issues and the election of Donald Trump as President, then you may have your head deeper in the sand than you think.