On this day, “A day without Women”, I want to walk on some shaky ground here.
As a preface, I do believe in women’s rights in the classical sense. Believe me, I love the fact I can vote, that I don’t need to be under the house of a man (my father or otherwise) to be able to take care of myself. I love the fact I can write about my personal beliefs without fear from my posh little perch in a coffee shop. It’s nice to be able to walk down a street by myself, that I don’t need a chaperone and provided I’m smart, I don’t have to worry about getting raped. I love my independence.
I would be a delusional mess if I thought I had only women to thank for these rights. If it weren’t for the upstanding men who passed the laws that insured my freedom and safety, no one would even be able to take part in a national hissy fit. I get it, in a perfect world women shouldn’t have ever have had to plead with said upstanding men. But this is no perfect world and I don’t think it’d be too much of a stretch to say that women have these rights because the men who voted had women they loved, daughters they wanted to protect, sisters and wives whose opinions and support they valued.
The idea behind A Day without Women I suppose is an attempt to get others to realize what we are and what we do, that men wouldn’t be able to do it without us.
Ladies, if you are really there, chances are the men in your life already know they can’t do it without you. The funny thing is when you’re more focused on supporting someone than you are on making a point, you end up making your point without saying a word. If you’re focused on making your point- preaching, bashing, posting an endless stream of articles on your feed, chances are pretty good that the men in your life don’t need to imagine what life would be without you because they already know and your message is far more likely to fall on deaf ears.
I wish as a woman I could stand in solidarity with other women, but in this instance I can’t. I see one thing being preached from the pulpits of politicians, the media, and a lot of my friends, but what I experience is quite different. Once I stepped out of the echo chamber of disgruntled women and formed friendships with more men in my private and working life, the whole idea of feminism fell apart for me and it wasn’t because we talked about politics. It was because I heard their stories and saw what it was like on the other side of the fence. There will always be some jerks no doubt about it, but after hearing where they’ve been I felt like I was on the greener side of things.
The point I’m trying to make here is not to bash anyone (though I confess I’m more than a little frustrated) but that both men and women are far stronger if they are supporting each other. If you want love, then give it. If you want appreciation, then appreciate others. If you want freedom then let go of other peoples lives. This is true in all relationships. And if you do that and they don’t reciprocate? By all means, take no shit and walk away. You have that freedom.