Today is International Women’s day, the one day a year where we get to celebrate womyn’s academic, social and economic achievements in history. Today we get to celebrate how well we worked to assimilate into the white male dominant culture and adopt values based on the values of those who everyday, every hour, oppress us.
Please don’t get me wrong, I completely support the strength it takes to walk in a male dominates world everyday, and in no way want to say that any accomplishment or goals made by a womyn is pointless. I’m not writing this to put down womyn (any womyn: female assigned, female identified, trans womyn, intersex, etc) but rather to illuminate that male dominated culture is so pervasive that it even permeates the strongest feminist ideals. We consider ourselves “unsuccessful” or “ineffective” if we do not meet male standards of success, such as becoming CEO’s or fighting for womyns rights through legal legislation. Again, I completely support the fight womyn have fought to get some form of legal equality such as getting laws passed in 1978 that said a womyn could refuse to have sex with her husband and another law that said it was illegal for a husband to beat his wife (honestly, rule of thumb, look it up).
We are worth more than one fucking day out of the year, we are worth more than comparing ourselves to the colonizing male of the ruling class, we are worth so much more than our socialization can ever allow us to dream of. International Women’s Day is a pat on the shoulder that our patriarchal overloads give us saying: “That’s so cute, keep fighting the system that is set up to oppress you!” It is impossible to fight within the current system in order to gain equality within it. The narrative of “civilized” society dictates that womyn are and always have been second class citizens.
The socialization and culture goes way to deep and laws alone cannot prevent attacks on womyn. They just help prosecute afterward. Cops will not prevent you from being raped. In fact some womyn are even raped by cops. There was a case that just went to trial in New York in February about an NYPD officer who raped a womyn orally and anally. New York law only considers it rape if it is vaginal and so the officer was acquitted. That’s right, one of the most “progressive” cities in America does not consider anal rape or oral rape “legitimate” rape. We shouldn’t have to suffer through white privileged men defining rape for us—debating what is legitimate rape, and never punishing the rapist. This legislation perpetuates the rape culture that we currently live in.
I completely support the womyns suffrage movement and all of the protests and actions that womyn organized simply to get the right to vote. We shouldn’t have to go through jail and harassment from society just to have basic human rights. We should not have to fight to keep abortion legal, these are our bodies. No one makes laws that force men to be sterilized or tell them what to do with their bodies—it’s completely repulsive that we are told what to do with ours. But that’s our socialization in the disciplinary regime of patriarchy. Womyn are socialized at birth to believe that their bodies are communal property—that if you wear a short skirt, it means you must want to have sex and male bodied individuals are completely justified in pursuing you to whatever extent they want.
I’m am not saying that the fight for legal rights is completely pointless or am disregarding how hard womyn have fought to pass these laws. But why stop there? Why rely on legislation that will neither prevent from violence against womyn from happening no change the systemic oppression that womyn face just for being womyn. Let’s learn self defense. Let’s carry teasers. Let’s join together and make support groups. Let’s not ask that abortions be legal but have doctors that are willing to save womyns lives, regardless of what the law says. I’m trying to say we don’t have to fight just by their rules, we can fight by ours. We make up over fifty percent of the worlds population. We are strong, we are powerful, we ARE equal. We will never gain true equality by asking for it. We have to claim it, make it undeniable. Don’t ask your legislators for permission to not be beaten by your husband, take self defense classes, get a taser and then beat the living shit out of his worthless ass.