Yesterday, January 21st, 2017, nearly 2 million women worldwide gathered to march for women’s rights. From Australia to Spain to Washington D.C., women across the globe vocalized their concern for women’s rights with the recent inauguration of Donald Trump as the President of the United States. Though these protests were peaceful, opponents still took to social media to mock and ridicule. Many comments included slurs of “weak,” “lazy,” or “entitled” against the women. Here’s why they’re wrong.
When I went on social media yesterday during (and following) the worldwide marches, I knew I had to brace myself for hate. Because, though it was a PEACEFUL protest, I knew opponents would find ways to say horrible things — and they did.
I would like to discuss a couple of those things said…and why they’re wrong.
Note: I have decided not to block the names of the people in these comments. They posted their comments on a public platform and are available to the entirety of the public domain.
“They need to shut up and act like ladies. They are only being suppressed by their lack of determination. All those women believe they are entitled. Pathetic.”
Telling women to “shut up” is only the beginning of the problems that women face in our society. Women have been silenced or pushed aside for centuries, and it’s little-to-no-different now. An enlightening story of my grandmother’s exemplifies this: in the 70’s, she was in a clerical meeting for her church. She was the only woman on the board and had been brought on mainly to take minutes and act as secretary. When the pastor asked for input on a subject, she offered her ideas, but he chose to ignore her completely — as did the other men in the room. It was only when a man sitting beside her repeated what she had said, verbatim, without citing her, that the pastor acknowledged it and said it was a good idea.
That example is over 40 years old, yet similar events still happen, exemplified best by Trump’s comments on touching women being reduced to “locker room talk” and women’s protest against his sexual harassment being reduced to “bitching.”
Women have been and still are suppressed in many ways (see my comments below), and though this isn’t as evident as it used to be, it’s clear to the women who recognize it. Saying that these women marching have a “lack of determination” is entirely false. It is determination that had them marching, that had them vigorously making pink hats, that had them chanting, standing in the cold for hours.
No one here believes themselves to be entitled. They believe themselves to be American citizens — citizens who have had their voices taken away by a President who enjoys “locker room talk” (especially about his own daughter).
“Exactly what rights are being denied to women? Sorry, I just don’t get it.”
Since the women’s rights isn’t a debatable issue, it shouldn’t take me too long to explain what rights are being denied to women.
Do I need to mention the pay gap? White women receive anywhere from 75 to 80 cents on the dollar to the American man. Minority women receive even less. Black women earn only around 64 cents to the dollar and Hispanic women come out at around 54 cents to the dollar. You can’t make up facts like these.
Then we have the matter of abortion and the fact that women can’t even make choices about their own bodies. Women aren’t looking to murder babies — nobody is looking to do that. But when someone needs to terminate a pregnancy, they should have the ability to do so. It’s their body, their business — this is no place for the government or anyone else to intervene in. The fact that people are is appalling.
We have men getting away with so-called “locker room talk” while women are being raped and their rapists are getting away with it — or with a minimal prison sentence.
Tampons are being taxed as a “luxury” by 41 states in America. A LUXURY. The Washington Post estimated that the women of California pay in about $20 million worth of taxes for tampons in a year. States are taxing tampons and pads while excluding tax from products like Viagra. When a male’s erection suddenly becomes more important than women’s necessary hygiene, it’s a problem.
“This is an outrage to actual real women! I have never been so ashamed!!! If you are gonna lay down and spread your legs, then be woman enough to raise the consequences! There is a special place in hell for each and everyone of you, including the doctors performing these abortions!!!”
Suddenly women advocating for their own rights are not “real” (kind of like how news outlets who report straight-up facts on Donald Trump are “fake”). The immediate resort to slut-shaming these women for being vocal is even more alarming. Suddenly, if you’re trying to stand up for your rights (and other women’s, including your’s, Melissa Cook) and exercise your First Amendment right to protest, you’re less of a person.
The whole point of these marches wasn’t to sleep with more people. If you think that’s what it was, you’re seriously misinformed.
See ya in hell, Melissa.
“Awww someone please give these libtards a safety pin and baby bottle to suck on !!!”
In the true fashion of Donald Trump, we have combined “liberal” with a slur that many see as incredibly offensive. But that’s not the point.
The women marching yesterday don’t need baby bottles or safety pins. They’re strong, empowering women who traveled hundreds of miles and stood for hours in the cold D.C. streets to advocate for their rights. They had a lot of nerve doing just this, as exemplified by the hateful comments they have all received for doing so.
This is one of the most worrying misconceptions for me: that the women’s right movement is just full of “weak” individuals “crying” about something — because that’s not what it is. It’s full of incredibly intelligent, powerful women (and men) who are looking to protect their basic human rights. To think otherwise, is to think from a misinformed, ignorant place.
One of the things that stood out to me the most from these comments were the number of women shaming the women for their marching. The number of people slut-shaming and body-shaming the women marching. The number of hateful comments that had nothing to do with the march — that were simply degrading the women for what they looked like or who they are as individuals, rather than arguing from an intelligent and informed place.
I guess it’s just surprising to me that the same people who claim liberals and activists to be “precious snowflakes” as incredibly sensitive to any criticism are suddenly offended by a peaceful protest held by millions of women across the globe. The protest involved no violence, included educated speakers, and preached tolerance and love — how is this a problem?
But I guess, in the future, the history textbooks will look back on these opponents as people directly opposing a movement that — in the first place — should never have been questioned. Kind of like the March on Washington in 1963.
Photo Courtesy of: Twitter