There's a reason I still need the "grr" in grrl. And at the rate at which society is progressing, maybe I always will. Yes, I'm a feminist, but that doesn't make me angry. I am angry, though, about all the injustice I've experienced in my life simply because I'm a woman. And because, we've been celebrating this day for over a hundred years, and women, as a community of diverse individuals, know how far we haven't come in terms of justice for women in our global community.
On my mind today is the violence women face on a constant basis. In particular, it dismayed me that it took so long for the extension of of the "Violence Against Women Act" (VAWA) to be approved by congress here in the U.S. this year.
For me, it's hard to talk about the violence I've experienced at the hands of men. Worse is how long it took me to realize it was wrong. I used to think that somehow I deserved it. I'm not that person anymore. I have been, on the one end of the spectrum, discriminated against in the workplace and on the other end, almost killed. Truly, I'm lucky to be alive. Poor judgment, exacerbated by both my mental illness and history of substance abuse, made me an easy target, but that doesn't mean I chose any of it. In the past I could go through a laundry list of things like rape and domestic abuse that I've been through, but I don't want just say this stuff happened and not explain what it meant to me. I'm still going through the anger so it comes out mostly in tears, but when I'm ready, maybe I'll write some poetry.
What I can write about here is how I pray for all the souls of women who have been murdered for their gender. I think about things I haven't been through, like the torture of a clitarectomy or the horror of the sex trade and I pray some more. Really, my story is unfortunately more typical than unusual.
If you are a women or you have a woman in your life, please remember to celebrate her today and all days and do anything you can in your own life to see that justice for women prevails.