If You Didn't March, You're Not A Disgrace. You're Just Confusing.

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Women: Your refusal to march says more about you than it does about the rest of us.

This is a rebuttal to the viral Facebook post that Brandi Goings Atkinson wrote, as to why she didn't march in the Women's March this past Saturday:

I am not a "disgrace to women" because I don't support the women's march. I do not feel I am a "second class citizen" because I am a woman. I do not feel my voice is "not heard" because I am a woman. I do not feel I am not provided opportunities in this life or in America because I am a woman. I do not feel that I "don't have control of my body or choices" because I am a woman. I do not feel like I am " not respected or undermined" because I am a woman.

I AM a woman.

I can make my own choices.

I can speak and be heard.

I can VOTE.

I can work if I want.

I control my body.

I can defend myself.

I can defend my family.

There is nothing stopping me to do anything in this world but MYSELF.

I do not blame my circumstances or problems on anything other than my own choices or even that sometimes in life, we don't always get what we want. I take responsibility for myself.

I am a mother, a daughter, a wife, a sister, a friend. I am not held back in life but only by thewalls I choose to not go over which is a personal choice.

Quit blaming.

Take responsibility.

If you want to speak, do so. But do not expect for me, a woman, to take you seriously wearing a pink va-jay-jay hat on your head and screaming profanities and bashing men.

If you havebeliefs, and speak to me in a kind matter, I will listen. But do not expect for me to change my beliefs to suit yours. Respect goes both ways.

If you want to impress me, especially in regards to women, then speak on the real injustices and tragedies that affect women in foreign countries that do not that the opportunity or means to have their voices heard.

Saudi Arabia, women can't drive, no rights and must always be covered.

China and India, infanticide of baby girls.

Afghanistan, unequal education rights.

Democratic Republic of Congo, where rapes are brutal and women are left to die, or HIV infected and left to care for children alone.

Mali, where women can not escape the torture of genital mutilation.

Pakistan, in tribal areas where women are gang raped to pay for men's crime.

Guatemala, the impoverished female underclass of Guatemala faces domestic violence, rape and the second-highest rate of HIV/AIDS after sub-Saharan Africa. An epidemic of gruesome unsolved murders has left hundreds of women dead, some of their bodies left with hate messages.

And that's just a few examples.

So when women get together in AMERICA and whine they don't have equal rights and march in their clean clothes, after eating a hearty breakfast, and it's like a vacation away that they have paid for to get there...

This WOMAN does not support it."

Good grief. Let's break this down.

I am not a "disgrace to women" because I don't support the women's march. 

You're not a disgrace. You're just confusing.

I do not feel I am a "second-class citizen" because I am a woman. 

I'm super-glad you've never experienced this feeling. A great thing to keep in mind, however, is that YOUR experience is not universal.

I do not feel my voice is "not heard" because I am a woman. 

Millions of women around the world marched to BE heard. Don't you want them to feel heard the way you do? If not, why not?

I do not feel I am not provided opportunities in this life or in America because I am a woman. 

Well, the 79 cents you make for every dollar a man does (IF you're a white woman, that is. if you're a woman of color, you can expect even less) says otherwise, unfortunately.

I do not feel that I "don't have control of my body or choices" because I am a woman. 

Our government is made up of roughly 80 percent white men. They pass the laws that determine what reproductive rights are available to us. As long as that's happening, women's bodies are not being represented equally.

I do not feel like I am "not respected or undermined" because I am a woman. 

It's wonderful you've never felt disrespected or undermined. Meanwhile, 1 out of every 4 women is sexually assaulted. Twelve-year-old girls are getting catcalled. The President encouraged grabbing women by their vaginas. The glass ceiling remains unbroken.

I am not a "victim" because you say I am. 

Marching for women's rights is a declaration that we are NOT victims.

I AM a woman. 

So are we.

I can make my own choices. 

So did we.

I can speak and be heard. 

So can we, hence peaceful protests and marches around the world.

I can VOTE. 

Voting didn't keep a misogynistic egomaniac out of the White House.

I can work if I want. 

Remember that 79 cents?

I can stay home if I want. 

You can! Thanks to feminism.

I control my body. 

Also thanks to feminism.

I can defend myself. 

On Saturday, millions of women chose to defend themselves.

I can defend my family. 

On Saturday, millions of women took their sons and daughters and partners to marches to defend their families.

There is nothing stopping me to do anything in this world but MYSELF. 

See: privilege. See also: the bootstrap myth.

I do not blame my circumstances or problems on anything other than my own choices or even that sometimes in life, we don't always get what we want. I take responsibility for myself. 

Of course, we don't always get what we want. But human rights isn't the same as not finishing college, or not getting a promotion, or not qualifying for a home loan.

Human rights should be a given, should come with the first breath we breathe. Basic human rights are not something we should have to fight for. And yet. Here we are.

I am a mother, a daughter, a wife, a sister, a friend. I am not held back in life but only by the walls I choose to not go over which is a personal choice. 

I'm all those things, too. Most women who marched are all, or at least one or two, of those things. But also, we are feminists. And also, we are fighters. And also, we are artists and lovers and radicals and moderates and stay at home moms and corporate execs and we are rich and poor and middle class.

Quit blaming. 

Blaming =/= Accountability.

Take responsibility. 

We are asking Trump and those he has surrounded himself with to do just this.

If you want to speak, do so. But do not expect for me, a woman, to take you seriously wearing a pink va-jay-jay hat on your head and screaming profanities and bashing men. 

Did you happen to see how many men attended these marches? Hint: more than a few. This is such an old and incorrect view of feminism. But let me restate it plainly here, for those in the back: feminism is about equality, not superiority.

If you have beliefs and speak to me in a kind matter, I will listen. But do not expect for me to change my beliefs to suit yours. Respect goes both ways. 

Listen. The world doesn't change through kindness in the face of ugliness. I respect your right to have and voice your opinion. But if your opinion is harmful to myself or others? I also have the right to tell you to stick it up your ass.

If you want to impress me, especially in regards to women, then speak on the real injustices and tragedies that affect women in foreign countries that do not that the opportunity or means to have their voices heard. 

If you truly think there are no "real" injustices and tragedies visited upon American women, then I must insist you step outside your bubble and volunteer at a domestic violence shelter, or a rape crisis center, or a homeless shelter, or in an ER, or in a sheriff's office, or in an inner city classroom.

Saudi Arabia, women can't drive, no rights and must always be covered. 

Compassion and empathy are not finite. We care for all women and children. All women and children are who we march for.

China and India, infanticide of baby girls. 

Compassion and empathy are not finite. We care for all women and children. All women and children are who we march for.

Afghanistan, unequal education rights. 

Compassion and empathy are not finite. We care for all women and children. All women and children are who we march for.

Democratic Republic of Congo, where rapes are brutal and women are left to die, or HIV-infected and left to care for children alone. 

Compassion and empathy are not finite. We care for all women and children. All women and children are who we march for.

Mali, where women can not escape the torture of genital mutilation. 

Pakistan, in tribal areas where women are gang raped to pay for men's crime. 

Compassion and empathy are not finite. We care for all women and children. All women and children are who we march for.

Guatemala, the impoverished female underclass of Guatemala faces domestic violence, rape and the second-highest rate of HIV/AIDS after sub-Saharan Africa. An epidemic of gruesome unsolved murders has left hundreds of women dead, some of their bodies left with hate messages. 

Compassion and empathy are not finite. We care for all women and children. All women and children are who we march for.

Or the 7-year-old girls being sold or married off to 60-year-old men. Or the millions of women sold and bought into sex trafficking. 

Compassion and empathy are not finite. We care for all women and children. All women and children are who we march for.

And that's just a few examples. 

Good Googling stats by the way. How much of this did you know before copy and pasting this status? How much were you doing for these victims before you posted this to Facebook?

So when women get together in AMERICA and whine they don't have equal rights and march in their clean clothes, after eating a hearty breakfast, and it's like a vacation away that they have paid for to get there...

This WOMAN does not support it.

I'm truly sorry you don't support a woman's right to peacefully protest against misogyny, sexism, racism, xenophobia, homophobia, and outright hostility from the American government.

I'm truly sorry you don't see this as a perfect example of exercising our constitutional rights.

I'm truly sorry that your privilege has blinded you to the plight of women right here in the United States of America, and I'm also truly sorry that some of those women are likely your friends or family.

I'm truly sorry you don't see that your personal experience does not equal the experience of every other woman in America and that while you may have no reason to march, millions of us feel we do, whether for ourselves or our neighbors or our coworkers or our friends and family.

Your anger speaks volumes. Your dismissal says more about you than it does about us. I'd like you to sit back and ask yourself, why am I so bothered by women standing up for other women?

Audre Lorde can tell you why.

And it's my hope that one day, you'll be able to dig that piece of the oppressor out from deep inside you and crush it under your heel as you march with the rest of us.

 

This article was originally published at Facebook. Reprinted with permission from the author.

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