Meghan McPherson is a literacy tutor and gifted writer. We hope you enjoy her reflections on International Women's Day:
To My Fellow Women,
Today is International Women’s Day, a day of celebration, but I am writing to tell you about a tiny knot in my stomach. It’s been bothering me for some time and I feel that I have finally found its cause. I turn to you, my beautiful peers, to share my deepest fear; the root of my nervousness. It is the potential “trendiness” of feminism. How complicated and beautiful feminism has become. How grateful I am to live in a world that is speaking about it, embracing it, and progressing--albeit slowly. But then I see the “Strong Femme” tops all lined in a row in the Pacsun and Forever 21 windows. It’s the Instagram photos from the Women’s March. It’s the creeping feeling that feminism may be the new “Girls Rule.” Something for corporate America to profit on, instead of the actual citizens of this world. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love an e”quality” top and a well captioned insta. I am guilty of both. Which means today is a good day to have a knot in my stomach.
The knot is a reminder that it is not time to relax and be complacent. Let us be reminded that the root of the movement is equality. Let us be reminded that just like all men and women are still not equal, all women remain unequal as well. Race, class, and power still divide us even further. Let us be reminded that the majority of the oppressed are not able to spend money on that trendy merchandise, or take off work to march down Washington D.C., or even speak English well enough to defend their rights. I am not saying that we shouldn’t purchase that shirt or post that picture from the march. A voice is a voice and every single one matters. I just hope that on this day we remember that our privilege to post, speak, and support equality should not be taken for granted. That the privilege to walk down the street in an outspoken shirt, came from individuals before us risking their actual lives. Our privilege gives us power, power that can go much further than taking part in a trend. Our privilege can be and should be used to lift others up. We can walk with our heads held high and with pride as strong independent women, but the fight is far from over. We should be breaking our backs in an effort of lifting others up to join us. Let us not march away in our $25 shirts, too distracted by our number of instagram likes to notice our fellow women that we are leaving in the dust.
So I’ll keep this knot in my stomach to remind myself that everything is not okay; that the fight is far from over. Your actions speak louder than your wallet; so even though spending money is great, focus on spending time. Lend your talents, lend your voice, lend your life to making this a better world for everyone in it. Do not let feminism be a trend. Do not let this passion be fleeting. Let love bleed into every aspect of your life so that others don’t need to check your social media or hat to know what you stand for. My wish to you, my fellow women, is that you each grow a knot in your stomach. I hope it makes you uncomfortable too; just enough to keep on marching.