‚ÄòViva la Vagina‚Äô
People got pretty graphic during the Women‚Äôs Marches around the world. Walking giant vaginas, hot pink pussy hats and signs with pretty mature content stood out. Though this was not to everyone‚Äôs liking. Not only were they reducing womanhood down to a set of reproductive organs, but it gave credibility to the detractors. Just because the president used pejorative slang about women and their bodies doesn‚Äôt mean we need to normalise these terms in civil discourse.
And if you think they aroused indignation in¬†sexist patriarchs, think again. Stereotypical female icons used in the marches were actually¬†targeted from inside the feminist movement. The accusation was exclusion of queer, trans and non-binary people. The outcome of a well-intentioned show of unity was partly clouded by its denial of intersectionality. Old school feminism is still not taking on board the current state of play and undermining their own messages from within.
After reading many articles to showcase in this issue, my impression was that many undecided marchers from the minority, queer and transgender communities would rather stay at home than march in conservative feminist company. And those that did, felt uncomfortable. While this is not a good situation, it was likely not purposeful. The real problem is the majority‚Äôs lack of experience and true empathy with people who identify as transgender, non-binary, and beyond. We all need to educate ourselves on this matter, and not take for granted the rights we already have.
However, staying away from something because you feel you are not ‚Äòincluded‚Äô will not help your cause. Now is the time to take your stand, within and beside those communities to which you belong or want to belong. This way the many faces and varieties of womanhood can join and fortify the ranks. While there may have been some lost opportunities for meaningful discussion, let’s not¬†blame each¬†another in times like these. There will be many more marches to come, many chances¬†to get it right‚Äîfor everyone.
Girl News International