I’m a woman, and I didn’t participate in the recent Women’s Marches on Washington partially because I was out of town and nowhere near a march, but, to be honest, I wouldn’t have jumped on the bandwagon even if I’d been a block away from one.
Now before you start picturing me as a mouse-quiet housewife in a skirt, heels, apron, and pearls who doesn’t ever speak up and has no opinions that weren’t first voiced by her husband, allow me to correct you. That’s not me. In fact, my husband would laugh at you for even beginning to think such a thing because it’s just so far from the truth.
I think it sucks that men make more than women in the same positions. Shame on our society for apparently thinking that women don’t make as good CEOs as men. I think it’s diabolical that women can’t walk downtown alone at night for fear of being attacked. I’ve been catcalled more times than I can count, and I hated every single time; it’s positively disgusting. And this list could go on and on because, while I personally don’t feel particularly oppressed, I can see where others might. And I will stand alongside any one of them and fight for their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But I think we might be doing it wrong.
You see, these changes we want to see happening? Many of them start at home. You want women to be CEOs and architects and doctors and researchers and scientists and engineers? Then we need to encourage our daughters who are interested in these fields. Let them play with cars and Legos; let them build their own computers and compete on Math teams and in science fairs. Tell them they’re smart and that being smart is just as important as being beautiful, that being smart IS beautiful. Don’t let them believe even for a second that it’s not “feminine” to enjoy these things.
You want women to be safe when walking alone at night? To not have to answer stupid, insulting questions like “what were you wearing to invite a man’s lewd behavior?” Then let’s raise sons who respect women. Stop making excuses about how “boys will be boys.” Quit degrading the men in our lives by assuming that they’re all animals who can hardly keep from raping anything on two legs. Instead, let’s hold them to a higher standard. Let’s end rape culture, and let’s recognize that, in order to do this, we have to start at home.
Complaining to our president is all well and good, but he’s just one man. He can pass whatever law you want, but, if we’re still letting our sons off the hook by saying that they’re just being boys then it’s not going to change anything. If we’re still telling our daughters that to be beautiful should be their number one goal in life then nothing will be improved. We have to make the changes we want to see in the world in our own homes first.
If everyone does this then we we’ll find ourselves in a world where we don’t need to march anymore.