Bonnie sat in her warm, cozy bed. She sipped tea from her favorite mug, watching her girlfriend, Rya, sleep in the sun’s gentle light. Marble, their black and white cat, hopped onto the bed, curled up on a spare pillow and purred in preparation for a mid-morning nap. A vanilla candle burned on the nightstand, filling the room with its sweet scents. The only sounds were birds chirping outside and the occasional soft swoosh of cars going by on the road. Bonnie brushed her ginger hair out of her eyes, and pulled out her journal so she could get some reflections done. Still lost in her dreams, Rya smiled and hugged her pillow. So far, today was a good day.
I keep daydreaming about the distance
I want the chance to hold your hand
To make promises as high as the moon
Naïve enough to believe I can keep them
I want work that I can’t have
I want things to be easier
I’m tired of banging on doors that won’t open
I picture paradise, and it cripples me.
Lace your fingers with mine
Walk with me, feel the sun
Don’t make me list the reasons
Why we might not work
I like the easy things
I like the messy things
It means that you’re here
It means we’re together.
Feminism has always been a complex movement. When women first fought for the right to vote in the UK and the U.S., it was noble, but it wasn’t all inclusive. This right to vote was intended for a specific demographic, namely white women. It didn’t include women of color, or any person of color for that matter. That’s not to say that what these women did wasn’t admirable, because even as a woman of color, I look up to the suffragettes. I don’t think people necessarily mean to forget about marginalized populations, but it happens none the less, even in the 21rst century.
Even in our culture that is probably more accepting than it has ever been, our feminism tends to lack inclusion. We can’t have a feminism that only pays attention to the needs of white, cisgender women. Women of color, trans women, gender nonconforming individuals, people who are differently abled, people with learning differences, and LGBTQ women face challenges that are unique to them. But when marginalized groups are not actively represented in feminist movements, their challenges and needs are not being addressed. They are not being given a voice for the discrimination they face.
I think that we have the potential to undergo an amazing cultural shift. Inclusion and acceptance of people of all genders, giving everyone the opportunities they need to be safe and productive in society, this can only lead to a more open-minded and compassionate world. Compassion seems like a simple concept, but our society makes it complicated. This virtue needs to be at the heart of what we do. Words matter. Ideas matter. The way we treat each other matters. Striving for a gender equality that is inclusive, while acknowledging the needs of specific demographics, can be one of the most important things our society does as a whole.
I believe women should have access to all their healthcare needs
I believe that love is love is love is love is love
I believe we need to make room at the table for people of all genders
I believe equality is not a pipe dream, but a necessity
We are stronger when we stand together
We have clarity when we work toward what we want
There is goodness and kindness and light inside each of us
I believe that those who believe they can make the world better, will.