Surely I am not the only woman out there embarrassed by the women’s marches this week. Cue the hate mail to start rolling in. For those still interested, bear with me as I continue my rant on what it means to be a true feminist. Women (and others) dressed up like giant vaginas or wore knitted hats to protest the inauguration of a president that said “grab them by the pussy” in a private conversation over a decade ago. This is President Trump’s first week in office, and so far he has not abused his executive power to oppress women’s rights. The celebrities who were speaking at the marches, like Madonna, have made a living out of exploiting themselves for decades. Love the energy and enthusiasm, but let’s focus that on real women’s issues and human-rights issues, both domestic and abroad. There are worse things in life than offensive language and hurt feelings.
For example, female genital mutilation (FGM) is occurring in this country and hundreds of other countries around the world. Girls, from toddlers to teenagers, are mutilated against their will due to a cultural stigma. I covered this topic in a previous article because it affects so many generations of women, and it is women who are keeping the tradition alive. Women are oftentimes the facilitators of these barbaric procedures. Where are the thousands of women standing up for the scared little girls who are not only mutilated, but then lose trust in the women who are supposed to protect them the most?
What about the Yazidi women being sold by ISIS? These girls are repeatedly raped and then passed on to the next ISIS fighter. In June 2016, the UN estimated that ISIS is holding at least 3,500 women and children for sexual slavery. Any takers to volunteer to find them a way out of the hell they call life?
ISIS has executed LGTBQ people by throwing them off of buildings in Syria and Iraq. Even though homosexuality is generally culturally tolerated behind closed doors, anyone who publicly exhibits an alternative lifestyle is killed. I still have not seen anyone rushing over to help other than the military.
What about the Boko Haram women, who have been kidnapped and oftentimes forced to become suicide bombers? The reaction to their circumstance was nothing but a short-lived hashtag. Those young women have been forgotten by the world until the next one dies from a suicide bombing or is found with the Boko Haram member she was forced to marry and whose children she was forced to bear. Once freed from Boko Haram, they are still shunned from their families and villages.
What about the trafficked women in your own backyard? SOFREP writer George Hand IV works for DeliverFund, an organization that fights human trafficking every day. According to George, reliable statistics for human trafficking are difficult to obtain, but it is estimated that 21 million people are trafficked globally, with 1.5 million here in the U.S. According to The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, one in six of 18,500 runaways reported being trafficked at some point in their lives. Do you volunteer your time to getting them to safety?
The one thing that these women’s marches have shown the world is how out of touch with reality these protestors really are. I mentioned being embarrassed by the women’s marches because most of the women interviewed during the marches had no clue about real women’s rights. When the protestors were really pressed to discuss real issues, many turned away the interviewers. Most of these people have no idea what being a feminist actually means. Feminism seems to have morphed into just another word for being pro-choice. Feminism is so much more than that. Nothing will be handed to you; you have to work hard to get anywhere in life, and women’s rights are no different.
Hang up your giant vagina costume and actually DO something meaningful for women. Educate yourself, have a vision, and carry out a plan to actually bring about change. If your plan includes protesting, great use your first amendment rights—but you need to know the basics of your cause at the minimum. Women’s-rights issues will be here no matter which president is elected. Join the military, Doctors without Borders, the Red Cross, or one of the thousands of other NGOs. Be a true feminist and DO something that will get you out of your protected safe space and can legitimately affect women’s lives. There are so many other women’s issues not discussed in this article, like domestic abuse, incest, murder, sexual harassment, all of which have charities or organizations dedicated to help. In the time you spent meticulously sewing pubic hair on your vagina costume or knitted your “Pussyhats“, you could have actually accomplished something meaningful. In the end, action brings about change, not empty words.
Featured image courtesy of Salon
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