C came home the other day and said, “You know, we shouldn’t laugh at Donald Trump, even though he’s a bully, because he’s the president.” That one sentence made me realize that these are indeed the times we’re living in, when a 4 year old can understand the concept of integrity and decorum more than the most powerful head of state in the world. The reactions to the Women’s March also got me riled up so I feel like the following needs to be said. This post basically wrote itself.
I was not at the Women’s March but I would have been there in a second. I couldn’t attend because C had his skating lesson and T naps at that time of day so there I was, at home. But you know, I knew that these women would understand that my commitments to my family prevented me from driving into Boston and standing with them. If anyone would “get it” it would be these women. So, I was there in spirit and was so appreciative of their efforts to bring attention to the fact that we are not going to be still and watch by as human rights and any sense of decency slowly gets burnt down. You know why we are so attached to these rights? It’s because the women, men, and racialized people who all took part understand the struggle and sacrifice that was paid to attain them in the first place. So, the people turning their nose up at such a demonstration of strength and solidarity need to wake the fuck up. I despise people who want the liberties but don’t want to continually safeguard and work for them.
Do you know when I woke the fuck up? When I took gender studies classes in undergrad in my early twenties. The department was called “women’s studies” at the time and even people in my family wondered why the hell I was bothering. With those professors, writers, theorists, and activists I learnt that the misogynistic shit that we endure is not “normal” and it’s not “right.” My graduate studies was on the conceptualization of home at various scales but one of the most painful aspects was learning about all of the violence within that space. Of course there’s physical abuse and the scars they produce but what about the emotional ones? What about being told constantly that you are a lesser person, that you are stupid, incapable? Sure, it might not bother you but you know, staying is partly inflicting that violence on yourself. This gets me to the concept of choice. Though I fully respect the right to have spiritual beliefs, my religion is founded on the laws that grant me my rights and freedom. My religion is feminist theory and the people who continue to build it. So, no orator, religious text or government official is going to sway me in my belief that women have the right to choose. They lawfully have the right to choose what to do with their bodies, where to walk at night, their occupation, education and when to end their romantic commitments. There may be danger that comes with these choices but as whole human beings they are able to make them.
So I’m going to end this in a positive way because if we let every little thing in this current state of being get us down, we wouldn’t get out of bed. Life is beautiful. I truly mean this. The most beautiful thing in this life is that even in the most difficult of circumstances women, men and children begin their days and do the best they can. They work hard to have a life they are proud of and are kind to those in their community. So let’s all do our part to be respectful and protect what we all rightfully deserve. In solidarity.
One thought on “We carry on”
Great post, Ei Phyu! I’m really behind on reading everything because I always have too many tabs open. Thanks for writing this.