I’ve been thinking a lot about myself and other women lately. Women who are my friends, my family and women I don’t know. As this is Women’s History Month and social media has been ablaze with all sorts of commentary, news, events, and motivating speeches, I’ve never felt so close to my fellow gender as I do now. It’s all I can think about lately! And it feels good because I’m thinking differently. About myself and women. Women all over the U.S., the world even, are reaching out for each other to share, to listen and specifically, to unite. And with all this abundance of positivity and openness in speaking our truths to one another, I’ll say candidly that I’m happy to finally feel able to relax around women.
I was hesitant to participate in the kumbaya sisterhood that instantly surrounded me after the election. My husband was more interested in being a part of it than I. Maybe that’s because for as long as I could remember, my relationship with women has felt so divided. It’s been complex and even lonely at times. And as I watched the marches outside my apartment, I couldn’t help but think that some of the worst things that have happened to me have been done by women. Women, in my experience had been just as oppressive as men, even more so at times. The judgment, the competition, the idea that in order to win another girl must lose, in the workplace, in relationships, and even in family roles.
I eventually joined in the marches to give my support and I’m so thankful that I did because me entire perspective changed once I was there. Feeling the unity of literally tens of thousands of women standing together on the street with me, I realized just how mistaken I was for hesitating. And how guilty I was for thinking, admittedly, so misogynistic. The empowerment within all of us there was palpable and impossible to ignore. And speaking of misogynistic, these marches, this uniting of a systematically divided gender is exactly what people like Donald Trump do not want. Uniting is exactly what has been engrained in us to not do. Because if we did, we would most certainly be the future, ladies. And the system would be completely dismantled.
The misogyny that is institutionalized in everyday life, the daily behavior of keeping women down has long become so common place that sadly, it had trained me to be wary of women. And though I was sad to learn this about myself, I am thankful for the opportunity to change.
We can fight for our rights and we can rebel but now I know that doing it together, with strength in numbers, that’s what will build change not only in the world but amongst each other.