I am writing to you from OSU’s Hale Hall as I am apart of a Sit In + Teach In strike for International Women’s Day. The room is a sea of red and empowered and intelligent women and allies. It is a beautiful sight. Every 15 minutes there is a new professor and speaker to teach us about women’s right and issues going on right now. As I am writing this I am listening to a speech about reproductive justice.
There is also a rally on OSU’s oval at 3pm today that I will be attending. I just wanted to touch on this subject today and help inform my readers about what today is all about. Today is a Day Without a Women. Today many women are either calling off work, not going into work, going on strike while at work, walking out of work to send a message. Our allies and those who cannot call off of work are still showing their support in the women’s movement by wearing red in solidarity. Another way women are striking back today is by not shopping or going out to eat unless they are shopping or eating at a women’s small business or small local businesses owned by minorities.
I will not get into details about this movement or its messages because I feel as if others have explained it better than I could ever. I was never good with articulating myself on important matters and with these controversial topics, so I will leave that to the professionals. But I do want to share how I am participating in International Women’s Day and a Day Without a Woman by not working, wearing red, engaging in the strikes and rallies on campus today, and using my privilege as a cis gendered woman and my platform on this blog to draw attention to this movement and its importance.
I wanted to share with you some of the things I am seeing on social media right now about International Women’s Day because I am currently loving all of it.
But I also wanted to remind everyone that ONLY tweeting will not change the world. Right now another speaker is up on stage talking about this topic specifically. She is explaining that you cannot just share tweets, stories, pictures, etc. without actually doing real things to advocate and help them in real life! Do not share articles about how trans women are being killed without also sharing their artwork, their businesses, and help those who are still alive. Do not just be a bystander sharer on social media.
GET OUT IN THE WORLD AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
There is no hierarchy of oppression. If one is oppressed, we are all oppressed. Just because something isn’t effecting YOU doesn’t mean it isn’t happening to OTHERS! The Statue of Liberty has gone dark for the cause, and that has got to be the biggest message sent to the public imaginable. Wow.
I love the quote in the second picture, “Not the Church, and not the State! Women must decide their fate!”. This quote is huge regarding reproductive rights and justice, which is a hot topic right now surrounding abortion, Planned Parenthood, etc.
Just a reminder that feminism and International Women’s Day is all about all of our SISTERS, not just our CIS-TERS! This term is including and taking into account the intersectionality of people’s identities and brings attention to the fact that cisgendered people have privilege because of this, and we need to use our privilege to help those without it and help to bring about the equality among the sexes!
UPDATE: At 3pm today protesters gathered on the Oval to hear more speakers voice the concerns women everywhere have and the demands OSU students have for our university. We then proceeded to march from the Oval to the Ohio Union chanting different chants such as:
“BLACK LIVES MATTER.” “TRANS LIVES MATTER.” “HEY HEY, HO HO, DONALD TRUMP HAS GOT TO GO.” “NO HATE, NO FEAR, REFUGEES ARE WELCOME HERE!” “NO TRUMP, NO KKK, NO FACIST USA!” “ONE STRUGGLE, ONE FIGHT, COLUMBUS WOMEN MUST UNITE.” “FROM PALESTINE TO MEXICO, ALL THE WALLS HAVE TO GO!”
Once we reached the union we took over the lobby and continued our chants before a couple more speakers took the mic to educate those at the Ohio Union of our message and concerns. Then they opened it up to an open mic where people from the crowd could come to the mic and share their stories of gendered oppression where many trans and non-binary people spoke on their experiences as well as many WOC. It was a very powerful thing to hear real life experiences from students here at OSU. It really goes to show that this stuff happens everywhere and we need to put a stop to it. Just because it isn’t happening to you, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.
I hope you research more into this topic and movement and educate yourself with the issues regarding the movement. I hope you feel empowered and find a way to take a stand today as part of a Day Without a Women in your own way!