Feminism

Women Can Empower Each Other Across Race & Experience — So Let’s Do It

Women, Empowerment, Race

I will not begin my plea to my fellow women by diving too much into the details of the obvious — politics feels like it’s spiraling into an abyss faster than usual, we can’t be sure what country we’ll wake up to tomorrow morning, etc.

What I want to focus on is the fact that women have been thrown into competition against one another for way too long, molded to disagree and fight rather than helping each other up.

The situation gets even more tense when we start to consider the waves of feminism that have been dominating this year, and the fact that some women may feel as if they aren’t welcome.

Women of color have always had to scratch and claw for what we have. From education to the workplace, we are constantly underestimated.

That being said, I’ve seen arguments that the current feminist fight is led by white women and will only benefit white women, because the history for women of color is so much more complex.

Without a doubt, our black female ancestors overcame more than any of us can fathom. The ones still living on this earth continue to fight those battles everyday, and we’ve taken it on in a different capacity. Our lives are easier than theirs were, but I’m certainly not naive enough to deny that we still have a ways to go.

I do, however, believe that this feminist fight applies to every single woman. The arguments I have mentioned above seem to assume that all white women are innately determined only to fight for themselves and the rights of the privileged.

Well, that’s one hell of a generalization, don’t you think? We’ve certainly heard stories about white women who advocated for equal rights during the civil rights era, and there are many today who believe that the disadvantages that remain against black women today are still wrong.

Granted, not everyone will be participating in these movements for all the right reasons, but there’s something to be said for approaching it with positivity and an open mind. Personally, I participated in the NYC Women’s March a few weeks ago, and I, a young black immigrant woman, felt entirely included in the various messages of equality we were pushing.

So, why immediately write off the Women’s March and Day Without A Woman as non-inclusive?

It’s a tough subject, I cannot deny it. It’s easy for us to feel as though we always get the short end of the stick, but I refuse to believe that everyone is always out to get us. That simply is not the case. If I let myself believe that we can’t find allies in other cultures, walks of life, and backgrounds, I think that’s when all hope is lost.

As the political arena continues to resemble every dystopian novel ever written, we’re better off finding common ground and educating each other. Unity can only benefit us all.

“We are more alike, my friends, than we are un-alike.” – Maya Angelou

Bradleigh is a co-founder and content curator for The Sirens Rise with a BA in Media Studies. Her favorite things to do are listen to music, get lost in a book, write for hours, and eat way more chocolate than one human being ever should.

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