People wearing red, walking out/striking/protesting, changing their Facebook profile picture to the Women’s March rectangle: all of these actions have been taken for today, March 8th, A Day Without Woman (aka International Woman’s Day).
But what does this all mean?
Today we have come together to celebrate feminism. Specifically, today we voice what feminism means to us and why we need it.
A year ago, however, this day meant something a little different for me: it was a day to be proud of being a woman. While I still believe 100% in the beauty of all women, I also have come to realize that “feminist” is not just a title, but a constant state of being. A movement that has life and breath.
Feminism is a call to change. It is something we must carry in our lives not just today, but every single day. We have to voice our belief in equal rights. We must practice intersectionality. And we must be willing to make mistakes AND LEARN from them.
I guess a good way to put it is “perpetual, imperfect feminist.”
Perpetual: continuously, not stopping
Imperfect: not perfect, never perfect, yet always striving for improvement.
Feminist: the belief in equitability, the practice of equitability, and a part of a movement bigger than myself.
Here are some everyday ways that can help us carry the Feminist force beyond today:
Be kind. Celebrate fellow women and their accomplishments. Gossip is poisonous and a cheap way to make conversation. If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it. Giving kindness is a small gift that leaves a big impact.
Eliminate derogatory terms from your vocabulary: Slut. B*tch. Whore. Many people use this word as a “joke” with friends, but is it really funny to call your friend something that has historically been used by men to degrade women?
Know when to speak up- and when to listen. We are all born under varying circumstances and have different experiences, from race to gender to sexuality to mental/physical disability to economic status (etc.) check your privilege and be active on causes that not only affect you, but others as well (see point #4)
Follow organizations such as ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), change.org, and Women’s March on social media to stay informed about current events. A personal favorite website of mine is called http://everydayfeminism.com, which features so many amazing articles, videos, and comics on social issues.
Of course, there are so many more things we can do to help one another, but these are just a few ways that helped get me started on my personal journey with feminism- maybe they will help you too!
I vow to speak up more and be a better listener for issues that don’t directly affect me, but largely impact marginalized groups.
I vow to not apologize/humble myself for my accomplishments, my opinions, and my rights as a woman.
I vow to learn more about my Chinese-Puerto Rican heritage and love being biracial.
We will never be perfect, but that doesn’t mean we can’t strive to become a more accepting, empowered, and equitable human race. ❤