A Day Without A Woman

Today thousands of women across the U.S. are participating in ” A Day Without a Woman” led by the Women’s March Movement as a part of International Women’s Day.

They are asking participants to…

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Of course not everyone is going to be able to take a day off of work. Many of us cherish our sick days/ vacation days and can’t randomly take time off. Wearing red in solidarity, showing support through social media, and having conversations with friends and family is great way to contribute to the cause.

While I don’t have a job to take a day off from and I don’t make many purchases ( I’m a cheapskate) I will be wearing red and talking about women’s rights! Other great ways to celebrate international women’s day are donating to organizations that support women’s/reproductive rights and supporting female artists.

International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate ALL women. Queer women, trans women, women of color, disabled and chronically ill women, religious women, immigrant women, women in poverty, all women. Don’t leave any women out of your celebration or activism!

How are you celebrating International Women’s Day or A Day Without a Woman?

Lots of Love,

Alyssa

 

 

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Practicing Intersectional Feminism

I consider myself to be an intersectional feminist. I work to look as aspects of feminism from more than my own perspective. For reference I am a teenage, white, middle class, cisgender, chronically ill,  lesbian. I have a lot of privilege, and I try my best to always be aware of it, and use it to help others.

Feminism is for everyone, plain and simple. If you want to hear more about why I identify as a feminist, read this. There is a problem with white women practicing something that has been coined as ,”white feminism.” Essentially white feminism, is believing in feminist values, while only looking through the perspective of being straight, white, female, and cisgender. So  “white feminism” isn’t feminism at all.

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I can pretty easily see the perspective of other queer women, because I am queer woman. I’m aware of the problems our community faces, because not only am I a member, but I also read a lot on LGBTQ+ issues, and try to keep myself informed. I am also chronically ill, so I understand some of the struggles the people face who suffer from chronic illness.  I have people of other genders close to me in my life but I will never fully be able to understand what it is like to be male, trans, or non-binary. I make an effort to understand the problems people of all genders face in society, and do my best to help see aspects of feminism through their eyes.  Being middle class and still dependent on my parents financially, there are a lot of struggles I most likely will never experience. I attempt to examine the problems people who live in low income households face, and fight for their rights to access to better health care, education, and job opportunities. I can only speak for the experiences I have had, but I strive to learn and understand others struggles to the best of my ability.

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Essentially intersectional feminism is all inclusive, and views issues from the standpoint of every race, religion, sex, gender, sexuality, age, ability, and economic status. The term “intersectional feminism” was coined by civil rights advocate Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw. I believe intersectional feminism is the only real “type” of feminism. Intersectionality looks at feminism from every view point, and that’s the only way I feel feminism can truly be effective.

Let me know you’re thoughts on intersectionality, and how you attempt to practice it!

 

Lots of Love,

Alyssa

 

Feminism and Identity

TW: brief suicide mention, stalking

 

I identify as a feminist, an intersectional feminists to be exact. Until a few years ago I was taught to believe that the feminist movement only consisting of “man hating” women. That couldn’t be more incorrect.

For me, I identify as a feminist because I believe in the equality of all genders. It doesn’t matter is your a man, a woman, or non-binary, everyone deserves respect and equal rights. I’ve got to say I have a really hard time understanding how anyone could not identify as a feminist. I know a lot of people believe in the values of feminism but are too scared to take on the label due to its stigma. My response to that? Cowards don’t get things done. Cowards don’t lead movements, and cowards don’t change the world. Sure there are going to be some people who will role their eyes, and try to invalidate your experiences, but they are simply the problem and not the answer.

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This past summer I went to San Antonio for a funeral. If you’ve been to San Antonio or live there, then you know the Riverwalk is a big deal. I lived in San Antonio for a long time so I have been many times, but since I moved away it had been a while since I visited. I was alone with my mom, and we were leisurely walking down the riverwalk, looking at the restaurants and stores. I noticed a man following us, and he was acting odd. We both started to get nervous so we stopped to take a picture, in hopes we would get ahead of us, but he stopped too. It was then that we could see he was taking pictures of me. I felt completely violated, and disgusted. We went in some shops and tried to lose him but he continued to stalk us and showed up where we were later, so we left.

This is one out of a million reasons why we need feminism. I am not some object you can exploit, and masturbate to later. Not to mention I’m a minor, which in my opinion makes the whole situation 1000% creepier. This isn’t the only time I’ve felt disgusted or violated because someone tried to sexualize me while I was going about daily life. I am an average looking girl, I am very short, fatter than I’d like, and have a flat chest, and a small butt. My body type isn’t one I’d  expect people to go out of their way to look at, so I know girls who have a larger chest, wide hips, or a big butt have probably experienced this much more often than I have. I also know this experience is mild, and so many people in this world have had to go through much worse.  If anyone has treated you like this, I am deeply sorry.

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Feminism is also for men. We need to crush the idea that men have to be hyper masculine, or emotionless. Men are more likely to commit completed suicide, and I believe that societies standard of men having to “be tough” and not show their feelings contributes to this. If you’re hurting inside, you should be able to share what you’re going through without others telling you to “suck it up.” Men shouldn’t be used for money, and expected to bring in more income than any other party in their household solely based off their gender. Some men are disabled and can’t work, and that’s okay. Others are happy being stay-at-home dad’s, and I think that should be normalized.

Feminism is 150% for non-binary and trans people. ALL genders should be respected and have equal rights. Everyone deserves to go to the bathroom they’re comfortable in, and should be respected by the correct pronouns being used. I am cisgender so I have not experienced the hardships of being trans, but I am here to validate anyones experience of gender inequality. Your passport, and driver’s license shouldn’t state a gender that you don’t identify with. I hope our world will shift to better respecting others gender identities.

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And finally, of course feminism is for women, all women. Feminism is for women who work 24/7, and stay at home moms. You deserve to be treated as an equal to men, and you should have the right to get your opinions and ideas heard. I want my children to grow up in a world where women are presidents, and CEO’s, and doctors, and lawyers. I want all girls to know they CAN do anything they put their mind to, and they ARE capable of doing anything a man can do. Living in America, I’m pretty lucky. I get to go to school, and I can achieve my dreams of going to college due to my economic status. Girls in other countries often aren’t allowed to go to school, and many people here in America can’t afford to go to college.

I hope if you began reading this article by rolling your eyes, that you see at least one aspect of feminism a little bit differently now. And if you started off this article by thinking “Yay, I love feminism!,” I hope you found my take on this interesting and insightful. In the end I think feminism is all about loving and respecting all people, but hey that’s just me.

– Alyssa