Last weekend I ran into a guy from High School who I recently connected with through Facebook. I laughed a bit when he said, “oh hey, I know you. You are that girl who posts and writes stuff about women.”
Yes, I’m that girl! I’ve never really thought of myself as “that girl” until that moment. But hell, I am and I do not have a problem being that girl.
I work in a field that allows me to not only to see the power women are capable of but also all the suffering they are able to survive. I hear about horrific acts done to women and girls. I hear about what the man they fell in love with did to them. I also hear about their strength and courage. I get to see their eyes filled with the worst pain but I also get to see their eyes when they see themselves as powerful.
I’m lucky to be surrounded by super women who have been in the movement for decades. I feel fortunate to work along the side of women who have done so much so that women like me do not have it as hard as they did. This work has exposed the true power a woman is capable of and also the innocence that prevents others from realizing it. One of those women is Cassandra Thomas. She has been in the Women’s Right movement since the late seventies. I got a chance to hear her speak last week and she pissed me off. She accomplished her goal! She wanted people in the room to get mad. Her theory, “You gotta get pissed… so pissed you want to do really want to do something.”
She talked about how the movement is at a stand still and we are not doing enough to move on. “We used to do more with less.” Women used to mobilize, march on the streets and scream loud for their rights. Today, we scream loud and we are called sluts. Yes, I live in a society where an idiot calls a woman slut for standing up and fighting for what she believes. If you are not aware, Rush Limbaugh called Georgetown Law Student Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” for testifying to congress on Women’s access to contraception. Fluke’s response, “ this is the kind of language that is used to silence women, especially women who stand up and say that these reproductive health care needs and this is what they need. “
I’m at awe at the discussion we are having about women’s rights. I’m sorry but who are you to tell me what to do with my body? Who are you to decide my contraceptive rights? Are we really having these conversations in 2012? Sadly we are!
This pisses me off but unfortunately this will not change unless we stand up and fight, like we used to, for what is rightly our choice. Cassandra is right, unless we are pissed off about something we will not have motivation to do anything about it. Don’t you hate when you get bad service at a restaurant? Or how about when the phone company charges you extra fees? Or what if someone hurts your child? What do you do? Do you stay quiet or say something? You speak up, don’t you? You get pissed and want something done about it.
I want her to speak up and have a choice.
So I say to politicians on this International Women’s Day, stay the fuck out of my uterus. Keep your dirty hands off my body, my choices and my life.
Honor the women in your life and tell them how wonderful they are on Women’s Day and any other day you feel like it. Please also speak up for the young women in your life, become an active voice in our society. We can no longer be categorized as the “weak sex” or vulnerable beings. We can be so much stronger the any man and we know it. We must recognize, own it and flaunt it.
Don’t be afraid to be “that girl”