THE HUFFINGTON POST: For The Women Who Dare

“Women don’t have to wear pussy hats, or protest, or yell. Do your job!” Says Kimberly, who’s proud to stand against the current women’s movement. She believes that protesting means “we’re sacrificing our femininity. It’s obnoxious and makes us more aggressive.”

As Kimberly proves, not all women feel represented by the women’s movement, and are even offended by its use of the word ‘women’. Though some struggle to find their place, whatever their gender, they don’t understand that the women’s movement is fighting to protect us against the policies that hurt us – such as cutting funding for women’s health organizations or publicly shaming a woman’s fundamental right to choose.

But women are rising against the dark forces. Some of us are protesting, while others are working to transform in measured numbers. And whether we join the organizers of a protest march, or contribute to our local communities, we are united to fight against economic, social and racial injustices.

Today we see our pains and injustices severely magnified by social and political ideologies that are threatening to steal our liberties. Women know this struggle better than anyone. Through the rise of feminism in the 1960s and ‘70s, many of us women (as well as men possessed of strong emotional intelligence), have suffered a long fight for equal rights with little more than dead ends.

Many women are questioning the current picture of what it looks like to be a feminist. To some, it feels limiting; but to those who are confused or on the fence, know that being a feminist does not rob you of your feminine essence. Far from it. It offers an empowering invitation to stand as one for the fight for civil and equal rights.

Centuries ago, women were rarely valued or had any position of authority. We fought hard not to be submissive and were treated like slaves, breeders – or perhaps even worse. But in our hearts, we always knew our essence was birthed from mystery, endurance and sacredness. And although it is different, it is every bit as powerful as masculine energy.

A women’s strength is still ranked by her hardships. Today, though we celebrate being seen, we also refuse to allow those hardships to dictate us. We know how to do something tangible and understand the sacrifice it entails.

During an era of change, no matter how we close our eyes to the distractions, we know the answers lie within the cosmos of our souls. We ask for a world where we’re valued, a demand that’s centered in self-dignity – a need to stay empowered, stately, and firm as we address systemic issues. We also understand the meaning of benevolence, and we’re willing to put our life on the line to help another person.

Whatever you value the most – from humanitarianism, to motherhood, science, activism, politics, or education, it is our time to move forward; to journey further and deeper into our incredible strengths. We are the ones who weave the foundation that will stand the test of time. We are the women who dare. And we’re doing it right.

There are millions of women who are not mentioned or will never play a part among prominent female leaders. These women make a profound difference with our children, in education, in civil rights and much more. For all the unnamed women, who are not acknowledged; you are the ones who weave the foundation that will stand the test of time. We thank you for your outstanding contributions.

“The idea of being a feminist… so many women have come to this idea of it being anti-male and not able to connect with the opposite sex, but what feminism is about is equality and human rights. For me, that is just an essential part of my identity.” — Lena Dunham

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This piece was originally published on The Huffington Post.
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