July 28, 2014
It’s been a tough week for women in the world. In Gaza, the Ukraine and Syria, women are bearing the brunt of wars waged primarily by men, fought in the name of religions in which women have very little power. They’re burying their children, nursing their injured sons, husbands, brothers and daughters without the benefit of medical support or social services. They’re hustling for whatever scraps they can find to make lives for themselves and their families while enduring unimaginable terror, violence and grief.
Here in the U.S., women are waging battles we thought we’d won decades ago – battles for autonomy, equality and human rights. Our battlefields are our bodies, our workplaces, our homes and schools. We’re fighting for our rights to own our health, direct our healthcare and control what happens to our bodies. We’re battling for childcare and for jobs that pay living wages. We’re demanding that schools prevent harassment, bullying and violence directed at us simply because we’re women.
While men also need safe places for their children, jobs that pay them appropriately, and protection from bullying and harassment; it’s not much of a generalization to say that women bear the brunt of gender-based violations. It’s women who are overwhelmingly the victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and workplace harassment. It’s women who feel they have no choice but to leave their children in the park so they can work at jobs that don’t afford them the luxury of childcare. It’s women who learn at their mothers’ knees that catcalls, unwanted advances and comments and even rape are part of being a woman.
And yet it’s also women who are writing about, talking about, and advocating for change. It’s mothers teaching their daughters that they don’t have to stand for it any more. It’s women who are creating opportunities for growth and inspiration and finding ways to support each other through good times and bad. So yes – it’s been a tough week for women, but revolution is always tough and women have always stepped up. I think this week is going to be just that much better.