To My Warriors on Women’s Day

 

 

To my warriors:

Why do I support the strike?
For girls.

Because I do not want a girl in daycare or school to be silenced and told to not be a brute while her classmates are allowed to scream.
Because I do not want her to be made fun of by a boy and told that it is the way boys are and that he did it because he likes her.
Because I do not want a girl to have to be sweet and loving rather than brave and determined.
Because I do not want to be a teenager to be told that she has to dress in a certain way, get home soon or be cleaner than her brother.
Because I want them to grow up knowing they are strong and capable and not only beautiful and dignified.

For boys

Because I do not want them to be told that they can not cry even if they have plenty of reasons.
Because I do not want them to be allowed to be careless or rude to others.
Because I do not want them to have to carry the burden of being ‘the most’ of anything, not the smartest, or the strongest, or the most capable.
Because I do not want them to be made to believe that a real man is hard and does not hug or get emotional.
Because I do not want them to see girls as different beings but as human beings.
Because I do not want them as teenagers to believe that you have to control everything, including their girlfriend.
Because I want them to grow up knowing that it’s okay to feel and cry and need a hug.

For women.

Because there are too many dead, raped, assaulted because of an ‘I do not want’ or by an ‘ I do’.
Because there are too many accepting surreal situations of discrimination in their jobs because they need money.
Because there are too many who had to give up motherhood for a job.
Because there are too many who had to give up a job for motherhood.
Because many times they have no chance to prosper because they have no one to support them at home.
Because many times they are blackmailed with demands for ‘being practical’ and thinking about their families to deprive them of their dreams and thus take away the shine that makes them stand out.
Because they are not judged socially the same as men and in most cases lose out.
Because they have to be always stronger and seem weak, more hardworking and not mention it, more silent and accept it, more responsible and assume it.
Because there are too many to whom this seems the price to pay for being a woman.

For men.
Because it is not fair that father’s love is seen as inferior to mother’s love.
Because there are too many enduring hard situations without daring to show how bad they feel.
Because there are too many who believe that their role in the family is that of the economic supporter and little else.
Because there are too many who believe that his wife has to be a kind of person for everything: wife. mother, caregiver, logistics director and cheerleader.
Because there are laws that prevent them from being the fathers they would like to be as they consider the children more the mother’s.
Because there are too many who still today do not see women as equals, but as inferior and mistreat or kill them for it.
Because they have to look strong even if they feel weak, hard even if they are sensitive, ready even though they have no idea.
 

It is necessary to give to each person what is rightfully theirs and if we start from a different place, to give the same to the one who has more than the one who has the least isn’t  right. It’s not just to give me the same as a person who has no house nor give the same to someone that has a good job than to me. Legally we  are equal,  women and men. Socially not so much. I feel a strike where men and women are united for equality, while ideal in some ways, is counterproductive insofar as the point is to prove to everyone what would happen if women- who are mostly responsible for their homes and their families-stop doing this invisible, ungrateful and unacknowledged work. This strike is a strike for everyone to see what happens if women stop. Sharing centre stage of the strike with men  would dilute its purpose.  If you do not take care of things at home, many people would have a hard time. Others wouldn’t, of course. Housework and taking care of people are not valued socially. In most cases, not all but a majority, those tasks are done by women. In a factory perhaps it won’t be so noticeable but in a  domestic environment if the main caretaker, the director of logistics, the problem solver stops, the whole system collapses.

It’s  women who do many invisible tasks.  Most people do not see it at all. Support can be shown in many ways not only by going on strike. You can go to concentrations and  educate your children to look at women as human beings. The question here is not one of equality but of  making visible what we all take for granted  and do not give much appreciation to.

To bring cohesion to a society, you must begin by doing justice. Give to those who don’t have their share, value what is worth  being  valued, foster fairness.

I am not focused on what different feminist trends are doing but on what I see and what I live. There are many women who are not valued for their worth and who don’t have the same opportunities as a man. For me, the core of the issue starts, like so many other things, at home. How are we going to be on equal ground if a woman is still responsible for most of the work in a home? No wonder men get promotions. A woman may not be able to work all hours and be available for drinks after work, all of which pose little to no problem for most men.

It is not a day of celebration, but a reminder of how far we have come and of being aware of how much we still have to walk.

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