It’s International Women’s Day. Many women are on strike today. The rights and bodies of women everywhere remain under assault.
It’s hard to have the impression that things have improved for women in recent memory when a self-proclaimed sexual assaulter is President of the United States. Donald Trump has been forced to profess his respect for women many times, almost always in response to doing or saying something that proves the exact opposite. Trump is, of course, a symptom rather than the disease. The disease is misogyny, and it is so pervasive that it elevated a hateful sexist to the most powerful office on Earth.
His fellow Republicans are no better, and in many cases are worse. They attack reproductive rights, seeking to effectively outlaw abortion, and doing what they can to remove access to contraception. Women continue to deal with pay gaps, domestic abuse, and other issues that men either experience less or don’t experience at all.
Today is a day that many women are using to speak their minds and make their impact known. But plenty of women can’t take part in today’s strike or any celebrations or protests. Some would risk their jobs to do so, or even face deportation because they are undocumented. It is often the case that only women of means and privilege–usually white–can take part in such actions. They feel good, but can easily leave behind the more vulnerable, the more voiceless.
It is this same women who stand to suffer the most, to lose the most, under Trump, as well. That is always worth remembering.
To stand with women is to stand with all women, not simply those who can afford to take part in strikes and protests.
Trump, of course, only stands with women he considers pretty, or that are useful and obedient to him.
(If you’d like to read what I wrote for this occasion last year, check it out.)
Photo by Amanda HIrsch