I am a woman.
I had periods and bled on sheets.
But my voice does not matter, my voice was not wanted. My message fit in with those who were told they were not welcome to march with the women of the world, so while the march spoke out for women “everywhere,” I sat at home.
I sit with many women who chose a different path than many of those who marched. That choice, evidently makes us all now, women who do not matter. We do not have a place at the table. Our input into important issues is not permitted. We are the women, who are sent to the outer tents when we bleed. We are not allowed to contaminate the others, except our exile is not for one week of the month . . . ours is permanent.
There can be no doubt that we are women. We had mothers and fathers who loved us, we played with dolls, we did all the girl things with the other girls. We went to university or got a job. We married and some divorced, we had kids and some of us grand babies and even great grand babies. We have careers or stayed home. We met situations that were difficult and yes, some of us were raped, some of us abused. Some of us were/are paid far less than we are worth. Some of us have been horribly discriminated against. Some of us are religious. We are rich and poor, overweight and underweight. We are varying degrees of attractive. Some of us conquer mountains, some of us conquer diapers. We are women no different than those who marched. But they told us we were not the right kind of women, and so we couldn’t join them. While they said they wanted “everyone’s” support – that did not include ours. Had we marched, had we said anything, our voice would have been “booed,” because these women are not about love and inclusion … this is just one big mean girl’s party.
I know they probably have some valid things to say because I actually have listened to their message but yesterday … I couldn’t hear much over their yelling and screaming “pussy,” and all the other vulgar words. I was not offended because I am a prude, I was offended because while there are many women who talk like that, there are many who don’t. You cannot consider people you do not value. Perhaps they were also told not to attend.
There are only some women they consider worthy of recognition. These are women who agree with their agenda. All others are ignored. They fight for the injustice to some, and ignore others. They fight for reproductive rights but they are not fighting against those women forced to abort. They don’t fight against those policies or practices where abortions are primarily conducted on girl babies while males are kept. They don’t fight against forced sterilization or those practices that cause sterilization. They don’t fight for women who choose to be virgins. They don’t fight for women who choose religion and fight to be able to adhere to their practices.
That is because there is an agenda here that has nothing to do with equality.
Equality would mean that while they fight for their own rights, they recognize the rights of others. I have rights. Men have rights. I thought we were going to show our children how the world should be, with all of us playing on a level playing field and being equal. I thought women were going to do the right thing. I did not consider women intended to put themselves in the very men’s roles we detested, taking prisoners and torturing them for what was once done to us – not even to us personally but to someone we heard about …. years ago …. that a friend told us their cousin said their friend mentioned she overheard a woman talking about on the phone.
Women are powerful. They are life. They are creators, connected to the life source. Creation is about building and repairing and renewing. It is not about destroying. Yes, women can be strong enough to do most things men can do. They can go to war and kill people. I see a woman’s power as much more than that. It is a power enhanced and constrained by wisdom. She can see what men cannot always see. She intuitively understands how to repair life. She leads by example. At her most powerful, her compassion guides her efforts and while she is a force to be reckoned with, capable of destroying her enemies, she has the control and the vision to temper her anger. Where are those women? These are the women I want to step up and to be mentors to my daughters. These are the women I want to follow and to work with.
These women understand that just as she must be empowered to be her best self, so must a man. Together, we are stronger than anything life can throw at us.
If we could harness that true soul of a woman, in connection with the best strengths of men, we would have the ability to heal the world, to solve all the problems, and to empower every being to achieve their life’s purpose.
But we don’t. We are fighting each other, and now, we are even fighting against other women.
I doubt that many of the women who march know that other women were not invited and even told to stay home. I don’t believe all those women who marched sold their souls to the agenda of those who were in charge. I don’t believe that all those women buy into the idea that only some women matter or that all men are scum. I do believe that most of those women truly want equality and a better world for their children. I do believe that many of these women are capable of having discussions that afford everyone a voice.
Does it bother anyone else that the rich and famous were chosen to speak? They speak as if they are peers to women’s issues when their fame affords them many remedies most women will never have. Why couldn’t the woman who wrote the poem read it? They were her words. What was wrong with her voice? I wonder if these women of privilege have ever actually worried about menstrual blood on their favourite panties when they can afford a million pairs of panties. They probably have a million pairs. Do some of them even wear panties? And in a world of concerns that women face …. really??
Does it seem effective to adopt the very action you claim to be outraged by? If men’s talk is vulgar and offensive then why would women choose to do the same? Yet, they were applauded for it yesterday. Perhaps, if we want men to understand our “pussies are not for grabbing,” then we should stop grabbing them – both men’s and our own.
All that happened yesterday was that anger was deepened and spread out to include all men instead of just Trump. They are now doing the very thing we once fought against, stereotyping. Now ALL men are assholes. The goal seemed to be to keep the fight going, not to win people over. If I had marched, and tried to give voice to my concerns, I would have become the target of all that hate. It would not have mattered that I was a woman, I would have been designated the enemy.
But regardless of what they say, I am still a woman. If other women want to stand and claim they are representing women, then they can’t just invite the people they want to the party. They have no right to claim to speak for “women” if only their friends are invited. At best, they can only claim to speak for “nasty women.” (their description, not mine)
I too, want a different world – not just for my daughters, but also for my sons. I want a different world for mankind. I too, have ideas and concerns. There is much I would like to see repaired. I want to be part of the solution. I have never considered that I would be excluded. Back in the 70’s it never occurred to me that the women’s movement was for other women, but not me. I cannot accept that I have to pass some kind of membership test. If I had been willing to stand in the cold, screaming “pussy,” THAT would demonstrate my value.
Yes, I have different ideas than what most feminists do, but there is only one real difference in my vision for women and theirs. My vision is for all women to come together, to be heard, and to contribute. Their practice has been to only allow those who agree with what they say. They have already decided what all the answers are. That is why they do not ask just any woman to take the stage and speak. They pick someone that is admired (for being a good actress or a singer, for being beautiful) and they have them tell women what they should think.
I want to hear what women think. I want to hear because I value every single woman.
I don’t measure our value in ruined panties or sheets. To be honest, I could not really afford fancy panties. I bled on regular panties and because I could not always afford to replace them, I wore them anyway, blood stains and all. THAT is my reality. I will never believe we solve serious issues like rape and abuse by declaring war with our pussies, using them like a weapon. At some point, we have to set a higher standard than hitting back at the person who first hit us.
There is one thing these women may not have counted on. I was only one of many women who sat home yesterday. Plenty of those women were the specifically “univited.” You may negate our lives and underestimate our power, but we do not. We will continue to invite you and all women, to our table, where our only goal is to move forward with respect for all life.