By: Reenita V.
With the current state of America, people here in Canada have been rallying against some of the disturbing realities of current political views and showing empathy and solidarity for our fellow North American cousins. We are even removing our dark shaded glasses and taking a good hard look at some of the atrocities of this beautiful land we have settled on. There have been rallies, conversations, breaking of barriers. Social media is a storm of love, hate and transparency. It’s been good; it’s been bad, but most importantly it has been informational. A political movement of solidarity which I have been watching closely and supporting is the uprising of women’s rights (yes, still a thing in 2017). There are marches, rallies and conversations happening so often about inequality and fighting the patriarchy.
Being a cis women I so quickly had to learn that what I project to the world, the way I look, the gender I present makes me a feast to prey on. It concludes that I am less than, saying that I am not strong enough, so yes, women’s rights and equality are super important. Here is the thing though… if you choose to fight for women’s rights, you need to fight for ALL WOMEN. “All women” doesn’t just mean the tall or short, plump or skinny, I mean all self-identified women, of all races, all religions, all backgrounds, different beliefs, sexual identities, sexual orientations, and yes sex workers and yes, oh yes, that means Transwomen too!
You do not get to cherry pick your favorite type of women and only rage war for their rights. You do not get to determine what makes a woman a woman; you only get to define how you identify as a woman. Fun women facts: some women have breast, some do not. Some women get their period, some do not. Some women marry, some do not. Some women marry women, some do not. Some women do not have vulvas, some do. Some love babies, some do not. Some women wear pants, some do not. Do you see what is happening here? We cannot box women to be one type of woman as that literally goes against what we are doing here. There was a time not too long ago, where women were simply a human incubator popping kids out like Pez candies while having to simultaneously flip roti and stir the curry at the same time. Well, that fantasy happened to be a nightmare for some women, so those women fought for their identities to be created outside of the kitchen. Either scenario is a choice and right that each and every woman should be able to decide on. A women without a child is no less a women than one with. We cannot say this without recognizing our privilege here as many women do not have a choice. Truthfully, Canada is not a shining bright star as we can see the case of Cindy Gladue and all the Missing and Murdered indigenous Women. But you really need to ask, are you fighting for all these women too?
When we attend these rallies and yell our chants, take a pause and ask yourself who you are fighting for. Are you holding a sign that connects a women’s identity to their genitalia? We have already addressed that some women do not have vaginas, but if you hold that sign proudly and say ‘well, Trans women too, but you know majority of women have vagina’s’, you just boxed and defined what it means to be a woman Additionally, you create a violent place for all the women you are supposedly fighting for. You are continuing the cycle of harm, inequality, violence and hatred.
Are you a woman that has benefited from the history of women’s rights movements? Can you vote? Do you have a job? Can you love freely? Can you wear pants? Someone fought for you and they fought hard. While there has been progress, we still have ways to go as this gender division is an uphill battle. It wasn’t too long ago where only certain women actually had the right to vote (seriously, I’m talking the 60’s here, look it up). There is so much privilege being held and inequality we project onto the people we rally with and the people we rally for. Why are we fighting for equality when we don’t even believe in it and deliver it ourselves! Inequality isn’t going anywhere until we actually start fighting for equality FOR ALL WOMEN.