Guest Blogger: Monica Renata
I am an IT Professional and writer located in New Orleans, Louisiana. I strive to spark emotional intelligence and realization in my writings.
I have written a response to the following article: http://www.nakedgirlzblog.info/dear-white-women-fk-you-and-your-daywithoutawoman/
International Women’s Day is day is supposed to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and also bring attention to issues that need be recognized and resolved.
However, it seems that the usage of this day in the U.S. is to push the agenda for women’s rights such as equal pay, childcare services, etc., but the deliberate neglect of other issues. Other countries are using this day to celebrate their women, encourage the unity of their women, and also bring attention to female genital mutilation, education suppression, and others issues that hold them back compared to their male counterparts. The truth is we should celebrate women. We should celebrate all women, and be united in issues. But it isn’t like that.
The movement started in the early 1900s in New York, I think around 1910 if I’m not mistaken. They wanted better working conditions and also voting rights. The movement spread worldwide but in the U.S., I noticed that black women were requested to participate back then but after their participation, they were forgotten yet again. Truly, when I read books I am baffled at how so many of us black women participated for women to get the right to vote yet our men gained the right to vote in the 1870s and still were being murdered and/or threatened for trying to cast a vote from that time period and to almost the 1970s. It took the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to reinforce a right that was given to our men almost 100 years prior.
It isn’t the day that others or I feel some type of way about, it’s the way it is used by some people. If they know how our country works, and they cared about women so much they would have made sure we all had a voice. And in this country our voice is our vote (And half of white women thought “grab ’em by the pu$$y would make a great president so that conflicts with a person’s stance on women’s rights if they voted for him). As a black woman I recognize that if our men are being threatened for voting, our women would fear exercising their right to vote. This did happen in the past. So what was the use for us being unified with the women movement to give women the right to vote, if they didn’t march for us when we were turned away at the booth like our men were after we gained the right to vote? This type of behavior happens over and over again without resolve. We have two people getting arrested for the same thing, but one charged more harshly just because of who they are. You can’t say you want equality, when you see another woman and think she is less than you just because of her religion or ethnicity. I believe that we are all equal, but I also know that still in 2017 others may think otherwise because of the difference of pigment in our skins.
Another issue I had was the “A Day without Women” movement to skip work and demand pay equality. (“A Day without Women” is equivalent to the “Day without Immigrants” in my eyes; however, the immigrants were laughed at by many not too long ago. However, that is another topic that I will not dwell into today.) I feel like the “pay equality” argument is invalid because at the end of the day this society says that a white woman should make more than me in the same exact field. Until that superiority mindset is no longer existent, I will never agree with certain issues where “unity among women” is requested. Because although we may all want equal pay, she will feel that she should get paid more than me just because of the color of her skin. And that makes her case invalid. To me anyways.
Besides, where were they when black women were screaming for the protection of their men, their fathers, their husbands, their sons, and the men who may follow? Where were they when the other women were screaming and crying about their family or themselves being deported after the travel ban even though they had legal status? You can’t just request unity when it is convenient to you. So I was at work yesterday for that reason. I celebrate exception women and their contributions to society daily. I try to bring attention to issues that affect us as a whole. People around the world are using this day to do just that, but here the participation is ironic because time and time again so many have shown that they care about themselves only.
Once you know history, you know exactly when it is repeating itself. I’m not saying everyone isn’t pure when they say they want equality, but their actions should back their voice. So far, I have yet to see that…
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