Women’s History Month is over, advocating for women isn’t

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It is important to engage in conversations that encourage equality and opportunity.

Among us live women who are acting for a better world.

Right now, in Sweden, student Greta Thunberg, 16, is protesting and raising awareness about climate change, demanding her government lower Sweden’s rate of carbon dioxide emissions.

Her actions inspired and mobilized thousands of young people worldwide, who have begun replicating her example, calling for their governments to follow similar measures.

Because of her actions, Thunberg has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

It is important to celebrate women’s achievements.

Women such as New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern, whose sorrow is visible as she comforts relatives of the Christchurch mosque shooting victims.

Her government moved swiftly to ban assault weapons, such as those used in the massacre. She refused to name the perpetrator, which some media outlets did not hesitate to do.

That level of empathy is exemplary.

For many of us, it’s closer to home.

Some of us have been raised by single mothers — mothers who made sacrifices to improve their children’s lives.

Some of us have been positively impacted by women who have acted as mentors, instructors and advisers.

Women are our sisters, cousins, friends, girlfriends, wives, daughters and grandmothers.

Feminism is inclusive. If you believe in equity and equality and understand that feminism is not an us-versus-them scenario, we all stand together respectfully.

The fight for equality becomes easier.

It’s great that we have Women’s History Month each March to recognize the contributions of outstanding women.

But think of how many women are affected by the wage gap,
sexual harassment, assault or rape and
double-standards for behavior and
dressing.

Surviving all that is an achievement, too.

So don’t just celebrate women during Women’s History Month. Promote and advocate feminist causes year-round.

Make an effort to call out injustices, harassment and abuse when they happen. Don’t turn away and leave a woman to fend for
herself.

Attend events, rallies and protests that advocate women’s fight for equality. Sometimes, the sheer number of participants can gain attention for a cause.

Most important, remember and celebrate the women in your life and in your community who are trying to make a
difference.

It comes down to this:

Women deserve better, and we all need to pay attention. The fight for equality is one we must all rally behind constantly.

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1 Comment

  1. In Defense of Those Who Are Not Projector-headed Ideologues, I will put forth the following criticism of your submission.

    “It is important to engage in conversations that encourage equality and opportunity. Among us live women who are acting for a better world. Right now, in Sweden, student Greta Thunberg, 16, is protesting and raising awareness about climate change, demanding her government lower Sweden’s rate of carbon dioxide emissions. Her actions inspired and mobilized thousands of young people worldwide, who have begun replicating her example, calling for their governments to follow similar measures. Because of her actions, Thunberg has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.”

    This is a rather frail attempt to spin pseudo-intellectual woo. Thunberg’s is the daughter of Swedish aristocrats. They lost a great deal of wealth when Sweden attempted a redistribution plan in the 1980’s. It failed, and Sweden return to its previous economic model. The Thunberg family now advocates for changes in legislation and regulatory policy because they are deeply spiteful over the wealth that they lost, and they want other people to lose wealth, also. To consider that her “efforts” were manifested in the wide scale refusal of children to attend school and “replicate her example” is to call into question what benefit or insight she has actually offered to society. It seems fairly antithetical to the idea, because uneducated youth cannot support the future of the society into which they are born. Stating that “women” act for a better world and then referencing a teenager seems to be a way to classify women as children. I do not see why someone who claims to be an advocate for women would want to accomplish this. Are women children? Or are they adult members of society? Why would one be favorable over the other?

    “It is important to celebrate women’s achievements. Women such as New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern, whose sorrow is visible as she comforts relatives of the Christchurch mosque shooting victims. Her government moved swiftly to ban assault weapons, such as those used in the massacre. She refused to name the perpetrator, which some media outlets did not hesitate to do. That level of empathy is exemplary.”

    It is not exemplary of a Prime Minister. It could be considered exemplary of a media outlet, since they are so ethically questionable, but this would be a false equivalency, and is therefore invalid. A Prime Minister should have a grasp of ethics. To assert that this is exemplary because it was enacted by a woman in this position is to suggest that most women, if incumbent of that position, would not be able to do so. Women should be free to celebrate their own achievements, and share them with other, if they so choose, and they are. To suggest that all other people need to render some amount of praise and attention is to devalue the achievement. It is nothing more than the type of infantilization that occurs when a toddler does something adorable and clumsy, like lifting one foot off the ground and pretending that they just jumped up high. The notion of co-opting said tragedy in the promotional efforts of an ideology is tasteless, no matter who does it.

    “For many of us, it’s closer to home. Some of us have been raised by single mothers — mothers who made sacrifices to improve their children’s lives. Some of us have been positively impacted by women who have acted as mentors, instructors and advisers. Women are our sisters, cousins, friends, girlfriends, wives, daughters and grandmothers. Feminism is inclusive. If you believe in equity and equality and understand that feminism is not an us-versus-them scenario, we all stand together respectfully. The fight for equality becomes easier.”

    In these seven sentences, not once do you mention men. You list several labels that can be applied to women in different social contexts, then you proceed to assert that there is an “us-versus-them” condition. Your own words frame the context in a women-versus-men condition. You are fighting for women, against men. You would like men to fight men, for women, as well. I’m certain that you will also fight women, should they disagree with your chosen ideological stance as an identitarian. What your sentiments amount to is a monolithic state of womanhood that is required to constantly be in conflict with men. This is because you have chosen to live in a “me-versus-you” scenario. If you presuppose the monolithic collective of women, then you can co-opt the identity signifier. These are sophisticated linguistic devices that which you have applied in a ham-fisted and haphazard exposition.

    “But think of how many women are affected by the wage gap…”

    The wage gap doesn’t exist. The analysis that is cited for the wage is a flawed one, because it aggregates figures on the broadest range of occupations, and it does not account for differences in the types of job, number of hours worked, and the decision of women to leave the workplace for maternity needs. When you eliminate all of this substantial data, men do earn more than women. But it is earned,by working more hours at higher risk occupations, most often to support a family.

    “…sexual harassment, assault or rape and double-standards for behavior and dressing.”

    It is interesting that you would frame sexual harassment, assault or rape with behavior and dress standards. Most double standards for dress, in the professional setting, are slanted against men. While a variety of clothing options are available to women, men are relegated to uniforms or formal business attire, which necessitates that all but a man’s face, hands and perhaps the tops of his shins when he sits down are covered, because even the socks are requirement for men. As petty as attire requirements might be, why position this concept on the same level as rape and sexual assault? It is evident that you are addressing the investigative inquiries of law enforcement officials when dealing with rape and sexual assault cases. You want to circumvent due process by insisting that people “listen and believe” to women’s claims of abuse, and not try to ascertain the actual circumstances of the events in question, because in some cases, law enforcement will ask about what the individuals involved were wearing. There is no manner in which circumventing the legal system can benefit any member of the community, and it will very likely result in more abuse, because you cheapen the nature of the offenses in question.

    “Surviving all that is an achievement, too.”

    If you mean that it is some sort of achievement to survive the aforementioned circumstances of sexual assault, rape and dress code double standards, then there is a fair bit of sorting out to do, on your part. First of all, no one survives a dress code double standard, because a dress code double standard is not a threat, it is a socially derivative concept that only applies in settings where such standards, doubled or otherwise, are prerequisite and or anticipated. Stating that surviving rape and sexual assault is an achievement, in the same manner, is to suggest that there are circumstances the require these things on a standardized frequency. This is observably false, and is quite an audacious statement for someone to make, especially when they are presuming a stance in favor of women’s rights.

    “So don’t just celebrate women during Women’s History Month. Promote and advocate feminist causes year-round. Make an effort to call out injustices, harassment and abuse when they happen. Don’t turn away and leave a woman to fend for herself. Attend events, rallies and protests that advocate women’s fight for equality. Sometimes, the sheer number of participants can gain attention for a cause.“

    Why should anyone enact a specific behavior to fight for something that already exists? The reality is that society is already providing more to women than it is to men. Women have had the right to vote, without the obligation to the state that men have always had, for a century. They also have access to birth control, at the expense of the government, and men do not. And if we are really going to equality, then there is no need to demand that anyone step in and defend women, simply because they are women. The phrasing of this statement places women in the role of victim, which is never a healthy practice. To argue for equality in this area of human rights would mean demanding that people stand in defense of other people when they have done no wrong and being subjected to harm or danger. To suggest that a woman is not capable of fending for herself is also a diminishing and infantilizing notion.

    “Most important, remember and celebrate the women in your life and in your community who are trying to make a difference.”

    How is one to understand that any given woman is trying to “make a difference?” If you are suggesting the celebration of women sharing your take on society, then I do not agree that there is anything to celebrate. Most women are busy trying to get by, and that’s as respectable as it is when any man attempts the same endeavor. Allowing them to do so, without special treatment, is actual opportunity of equality, and women already have this.

    “It comes down to this: Women deserve better, and we all need to pay attention.The fight for equality is one we must all rally behind constantly.”

    How about women pay attention for themselves? Women do not deserve better by default. If that’s your bottom line, then you have the sense of perspective a delusional totalitarian supremacist. Equality of opportunity already exists. It’s a premise of capitalism that the market is open to everyone. Unless you are arguing for equality of outcome, which is entirely different, and not a tenable proposition, hence the need to coercively impose it onto others. Most people, not all, but most who would argue from a position in favor of equality of outcome are less concerned the disadvantaged and entirely preoccupied with diminishing the advantaged and the accomplished. Why do you seek to promote the perception that there is a perpetual state of conflict? Because you want a system in which no one succeeds, and no one is safe.

    Feminism has become a replacement for religion. It is a hierarchical system that definitely exists. Women have more rights, privileges , opportunities and choices than men, but you cannot accept reality and uphold your religious convictions simultaneously. The academic institutions in this country are already influxed with far leftist ideology and post-modern variations on Marxist tenets. Feminism is part and parcel to the neo progressive movement, but it does more harm to women that it helps them. Advocating for the spread of this belief system is going to be harmful to the students who attend classes here. This is because instead of studying useful, career oriented subject matter, young people will be encouraged to demand from society without contributing anything. Without objective skills and knowledge, every second for these young people will be a blinding sandstorm of unrelenting stress, because they will constantly attempt to get something right, but never be able to. This will result from the influence of “advocates” who sling woo and fallacious assertions into messy diatribes about the victimization of a gender. The type of advocate who has eyes bigger than their intellectual stomach, and therefore, are always either uncomfortably famished, or uncomfortably full. Where there could be a population of capable, independent young professionals, there will only be a sea of angry faces, drawn onto pointed fingers, deliberately hurting their own butts.

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