Why I’m Fighting

“You’re never going to change anyone’s mind, why are you even bothering?”

“There are other things that you could be fighting for that might actually be successful, maybe you should focus on one of those.”

“Oh, just another one of those crazy feminists, why don’t you just get over it?”

“You can vote and get a job, what more do you want?”

These are just a sampling of many of the things I’ve heard in my fight for women’s rights, so I thought I would take a moment to sit down and answer these questions and address some of the negativity I see every day.

“You’re never going to change anyone’s mind, why are you even bothering?”

Not everyone is as stubborn as you.  This is a movement that is growing and spreading across the country and across the world, so obviously we’re changing someone’s mind.  When provided with the facts of what is truly going on, it’s hard to believe that anyone’s mind wouldn’t be changed.

Even if I can’t change a single person’s mind, that’s not going to stop me, and since this flows into the next cynical question, I’m going to move on.

“There are things that you could be fighting for that might actually be successful, maybe you should focus on one of those.”

            “It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.”  ~Theodore Roosevelt.

I can’t guarantee my success in this venture, but I can guarantee that I’m going to give it my all, because to me, it’s worth it.  Yes, there are other causes that might be more successful than mine, there are other causes that some feel take precedence over mine, there are other causes that seem a lot worse than mine, but this is my fight.  You can’t tell me what’s important to me.  You can’t tell me what is or isn’t worth my fighting.  I have a multitude of reasons for standing with the feminist movement, some of them are personal experience, some of them are seeing how the world is and seeing what it could be if women weren’t constantly being shut down at every turn.  I see a girl who was almost killed because she wanted to go to school, I see a girl who is emotionally tortured, shamed, and put through endless ridicule because of her personal choices about her sexuality.  There are women beaten and killed because of their personal choices about their sexuality.  I see women controlled, oppressed, ridiculed, and so many other things every day, simply because they’re women.  These are things worth fighting for.  Don’t even try to tell me this fight isn’t worth it.

“Oh, just another one of those crazy feminists, why don’t you just get over it?”

This makes me so angry.  I fight for my right to be treated as an equal human being, and I get called crazy, or a bitch, or a silly woman.  I’m not trying to say that there aren’t crazy feminists out there.  There are.  The same way there are crazy every other type of person.  But simply because some people decide to take things to an extreme level does not mean that they or anyone else in the same fight doesn’t have a valid leg to stand on.  Please don’t try to belittle what I’m doing because either someone takes it too far or you don’t understand.

“You can vote and get a job, what more do you want?”

I want to be treated as an equal human being.  I want to make the same amount of money when I work the same job.  I want to not be judged, demeaned, treated a certain way simply because of the way I look.  I want to walk outside and not be scared that I’m going to be attacked strictly because of my sex.  When something does happen to me, I don’t want to be treated like it was my fault because of what I was wearing, what I had to drink, or where I was.  When something happens to me, I don’t want to be called a liar or a slut.  I want to have control over myself and my body.  I don’t want to be told that there are things I can or can’t do just because I’m a woman.  I want to have a place in this world, and I want that place to be where I determine it to be.  I want to be able to make my own decisions.  I want women around the world to not be treated like property.  I want to be treated like a human being, is that too much to ask?

So there you have it, this is why I continue to fight for women’s equal rights.  There are plenty of other reasons that I haven’t even listed, but rest assured I will get to that another day.  But now I ask, what are some questions you have been asked about why you continue to stand up for what’s right?  What are the reasons you continue to fight?

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7 thoughts on “Why I’m Fighting

  1. beeisadork says:

    Reblogged this on Sea salt and grass and commented:
    This is very well expressed. Exactly how I feel.

  2. morningv says:

    I get the “You can vote and get a job” one a lot. Or at least along the lines of “Things are way better than they used to be”. I think this one drives me crazy more than some of the others because it implies that there is a limit to what women should be asking for. It contributes to the notion that women are (as dad says) second-class citizens or lesser than men because they are only entitled to ask for so much. ALSO, as I type that, I realize that language is powerful and implies so much about how women are viewed. “You’re asking for too much” – Why should we have to ASK for anything? If I’m asking men’s permission to be equal, aren’t I continuing to place them in a superior position to women? Who exactly should I be asking permission from then?

    During my undergrad, I did a research project on women in the corporate world and their opinions on the realities of the glass ceiling. Most of the women that we talked to seemed very positive about the glass ceiling diminishing and the study felt very optimistic. Until we started reading more carefully through the actual responses. Most of the women who felt there was no glass ceiling also made huge sacrifices to enter the corporate world. For many of them, in order to break those barriers and earn management positions, they had to “become men”, choosing work over family responsibilities, aggressively negotiating, and behaving in very masculine ways in the workplace. That doesn’t create a workplace where women are welcome. It creates women who adapt to a workplace that belongs to men. I think that in a lot of ways, the workplace hasn’t changed to welcome women; women just became more aggressive about finding ways to work within that masculine structure.

    • wordofwoz says:

      Why should we be asking at all? Asking leaves room for a “no” answer. I would much rather be insisting or demanding. Those words sound more forceful and combative, but maybe that’s what it takes.

  3. mandaray says:

    Reblogged this on Note To Self and commented:
    I often get people telling me that I should be happy with what I’ve already been given, or that I’m wasting my time talking about these issues. From now on, I think I will send them a link to this eloquent post as a response.

  4. I share all of your reasons and off the top of my head, here’s a couple more:

    My nieces – I want them to grow up in a world where gender doesn’t dictate their choices. I want them to keep playing football like they did as toddlers because it’s a sport, not give up because it’s ‘not for girls’.

    My fiance – because what feminism means is a positively equal world, not one where we all descend to the lowest common denominator. Men are also victims of the patriarchy. A personal example: my fiance wears an engagement ring because he wants to. He suggested it. People assume it’s a wedding ring and when he explains what it is, they assume he’s ‘under the thumb’ and not a real man. Because a real man would not be proud of being in a committed loving relationship? Please.

    • wordofwoz says:

      There is definite reason to be fighting for future generations. Nieces, nephews, daughters, sons, granddaughters, grandsons, they all deserve to live in a better world and society than we are in now, just as we’re in a better place now than we were 50 years ago. Science and technology hasn’t decided to find a stopping point, why should society?

      And thank you so much for bringing up your fiance. Many people forget that men are also suffering under a patriarchal society, and that’s something we can’t forget. This is not just a fight for women to get ahead, but for all gender equality.

      I hope you’ll check back here soon, I’m already working on a piece on men’s issues that should be up in the next few days and I’d love for you to read it and leave feedback.

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