On this Women’s Equality Day, I originally wanted to address some of the most influential women in the history of HR. Short apology and disclaimer; that is not what this post is about.
To be honest, writing this post was tough. As a poet, I found that sometimes writer’s block was normal, but never like this. With the recent developments of the Supreme Court, it has been difficult to talk about or write about anything else. It seemed arrogant and presumptuous of me to sugarcoat the female condition on Women’s Equality. As a woman, it is challenging to contain my anger and disdain toward those who chose to take away my right to bodily autonomy. Everything I wrote seemed to gloss over the issues that women are facing in this country every day. The turmoil alone has latched onto me like a growth, consuming my being from the inside out.
In my struggle to find respite from these thoughts, I recently read through and edited Wendy Fong’s last blog on the Chief Gigs website, “The Freedom to Hope and Dream”. She speaks so eloquently about the desperate need for humanity and hope, especially among the survivors of human trafficking, and the lack of the former qualities. Her research communicates the survivors’ inability to imagine their lives amounting to anything greater than themselves, to hope or dream as they did as children. She recounts the methods of nonprofit organizations that provide assistance and comfort to those who suffered this injustice and barbarity of human trafficking.
Just as the Supreme Court decision had an effect on my demeanor, her piece gave me pause. As a self-proclaimed pessimist, problems such as those our government imposes upon women are such disappointing, yet not surprising, malfeasances. Like something leaping from the pages of a Margaret Atwood novel, they latch on to our communities like parasites.
After staring villainy in the face, these survivors had to rise from the abyss to live a normal life. The scrutiny they face in the normalcy of life as a result of their trauma has taught me something. Those survivors who survive and learn to live despite their trauma show such tenacity I have not seen in many others. They persevere. The organizational assistance given through United Against Human Trafficking utilizes this team mentality to collectively bring new hope and life to these survivors.
To bring me to such a conclusion takes drive.
If anything, American women, including myself, have felt powerless. However, reading the research and listening to the stories of the survivors was enlightening. The little things to fight for are just that; little.
There is a quote by Angela Davis that really speaks volumes on this subject. She states, “You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time.” Changes to this country, our communities, at work, or within ourselves do not come without personal opposition. A movement begins with one person and grows louder with the masses. As one person doing these little things, I know I, myself, will not amount to the monumental change needed to right these wrongs.
It will take many of us to make the changes we seek, and each of us must do these little things as if we can change the world on our own. If we continue going to protests, signing petitions, volunteering in women’s shelters or Planned Parenthood, and showing up at the polls, we will force a change upon the country we live in. Engage in the community. Support yourself and the women of this country. Exercise and express the importance of Women’s Equality Day in our climate today.
Sign up to Volunteer at Planned Parenthood.