To All Women Struggling to Find Strength Right Now
By Victoria James--What has happened this past week goes beyond winning or losing an election – Americans are struggling to find the worth, safety, and comfort we deserve in this new country we envisioned.
Note: Opinions expressed are solely the author’s own and do not represent the views or opinions of the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) and Proud2Bme.
In this time of transition, many of us feel vulnerable and scared of what is to come – for our humanity and for our basic rights as human beings.
But this is not the end; this is only the beginning.
This situation is not uncommon for women in society today – we work, we strive, we do everything in our power to be perfect and overqualified even though we know our chances of succeeding could be crushed in a second. It has happened before in history and it will happen again. People focus on our makeup, our weight, and what we are wearing rather than who we are as people.
We are taught that if we assume these supposed tropes of masculinity, that automatically makes us a "bitch." But if there’s one thing that this has taught us, it is that women do not and will not give up easily. We will fight day in and day out to secure our rights and the rights of those around us. We will not let our race, religion, or gender determine the treatment we are given.
We will not be walked over. We will not accept the fact that we are paid less than our male counterparts are. We will achieve equality, both economically and socially, because we know our value, our worth, and all that we deserve. We will work harder and harder every day because we know our abilities, intelligence, and strength deserve more than this.
We will not let anyone use our bodies for their own pleasure without our permission. We will not let anyone abuse us physically, mentally, or emotionally. We will give voices to the silent, find justice for those who are victims, and educate future generations on how to properly respect everybody and every body – men and women alike. We will teach our children, brothers and sisters, and friends to do the same. We will provide resources and support for those who are suffering, and give voices to those who are silenced.
We will not let our bodies be battlegrounds for those they do not belong to. Our bodies belong to ourselves, and no one else can tell us what to do with them. We must embrace them for everything they are: prolific, beautiful, imperfect, and strong. We put our bodies through so much to try to achieve perfection, but little do we know they are already there.
We will not let anyone else determine our value as human beings. Our appearance does not determine our worth, our size does not affect our intelligence, and a number on a scale will never define our human value or ability to make a difference. Our bodies have the ability to give life; we carry children, they grow inside of us. We bleed for a week straight every month and still manage to live. Our bodies can do so much and handle any type of pain that is thrown at us.
We know what is right, and we know that it will be alright in the end.
It is times like these, when we are silenced, that we must make more noise than ever. We will yell and fight because we know our value and worth as human beings; and we will use our language, our art, and our intellect to do so.
We are strong, we are smart, we are important, and we will do whatever it takes to make this world a better place for those around us who are suffering.