Women should support each other first

Published 12:58 am Wednesday, January 25, 2017

It’s no secret I value women’s rights; call me a feminist if you’d like.

My mother ingrained in me from a young age to make sure I got an education so that I never had to depend on a man to take care of me. It’s something that I took literally and it’s something I proudly am trying to instill in my own daughter.

So, when I found out there was going to a women’s march I was excited because I believe that women’s rights are fundamental.

I even agree with the unity principles of the march – ending violence against women, reproductive freedom and the ability to access quality reproductive health care services, birth control, HIV/AIDS and STD care and prevention. Even though abortion isn’t for me, I still believe that it’s not my place to choose for someone else.

I also believe that my LGBT friends deserve the right to happiness as I do, and I believe that women deserve to be equitably compensated for their work. We work hard, too.

I also believe in civil rights for all, disability rights and more.

Agree or disagree, that’s fine. I’m not one to put others down for their beliefs, but here’s what has resonated with me from this weekend’s events.

Yes, women from all over the world came together and marched together supposedly for unity. That’s wonderful that people turned out to voice their support for women.

However, social media paints a much different picture.

I see women who attended the marches berating women who chose not to participate. I see women who chose not to participate chastising those who did.

That takes me right back to the very reason I have but a few true female friends.

There is no sense of interconnectedness, fondness, support or love among women, or at least women as a whole.

If a woman isn’t in our inner-circle we tear her down. We even do this to women who are in our inner circle.

If we disagree on an issue it’s an all-out fight.

There’s no sisterhood. It’s a constant tearing down.

She’s too skinny. She’s too fat. She doesn’t smile enough. She’s too chipper. She’s a feminist. She’s just a stay-at-home mom. Of course, I could go on and on with insults we spew about other women.

While, I think that all the things the marches were supposed to represent are relevant among the struggles women face, how can we expect men to respect us when we can’t even respect each other?

We need to realize that other women aren’t our competition. We need to empower them. We need to be supportive of them. We need to defend each other.

But we also need to respect that we each have a life to live full of decisions and consequences that are our own to bear. What’s good for my life and my family may not be what’s good for your life and your family. No two people will ever agree on every issue, and that’s the beauty of America. That’s the advantage of the freedom we have. We are free to openly express our views, but we should all do a better job conveying our differences. In the end, love never fails.