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Women’s March 

As you may have seen in the news, the 2018 Women’s March took place nearly two weeks ago, from Jan. 20 – 21. It has raised skep­ticism as to how effective the fem­inist message has truly been, specif­i­cally related to the sexual assault scandals that have snow­balled for several months.

As I scroll through my feed on social media and observe my younger female (and even male) friends holding signs that say “Public Cervix Announcement — F*** Off” and “Not Your B****,” the question of whether these state­ments produce allies or enemies of the fem­inist cause is viable, espe­cially when dis­ussing the subject of sexual assault.

Women gath­ering to fight the evils of sexism and sexual mis­conduct in the work­place, while wearing apparel with blatant images of uteruses and/or minimal clothing at gath­erings, brings into question whether women are giving offenders any reason to show con­triteness for their own vul­garity. Moreover, it may prove that women can be almost as tasteless as the insen­sitive men who have been sex­ually sug­gestive.

Actresses at this year’s Golden Globes came together in the cam­paign #WhyI­Wear­Black to fight against sexual mis­conduct in Hol­lywood — beginning with Hol­lywood royalty Harvey Wein­stein, who has been accused of sexual assault by over a dozen Hol­lywood elite actresses, and spanning to Matt Damon, Christopher Plummer, and Aziz Ansari — in an effort to expose the uncouth tycoons. The only thing missing from this seem­ingly wholesome movement is the answer to the question of whether some women were com­plicit in sexual advances in order to further their careers, whether they had known about pre­vious behavior before the expose, and whether their movies insti­gated inap­pro­priate behavior.

Are women arguing that they can act sex­ually explicit and expect men to not respond either ver­bally or phys­i­cally? Are women unwilling to make changes that could decrease inci­dents of inap­pro­priate behavior? Are women doing every­thing in their power to min­imize the causes of sexual harassment? These are ques­tions for all women, yourself included, to mull over.

The modern fem­inist movement entails much more than mere pro­tection from male predators in the work­place. Modern fem­inism enters into the dis­cussion of repro­ductive rights. Fem­i­nists do not want a man’s say or any rivaling opinion over what is right/wrong for their body, from anyone. Period.

Observing the number of Hillsdale stu­dents trav­eling to Wash­ington, D.C. for the March for Life, a par­ticular sta­tistic caught my attention: 25 million women aborted since 1973, who could have been pres­ident. Perhaps this explains the void in female power that women seek to fill.

The Women’s March relayed women’s thirst for per­sonal power but also their lack of account­ability. This was dis­turbing and must be addressed. American women have rights, but women in some foreign coun­tries and girls in the womb do not. Women are not defined by the way they are treated by men in the work­place but how they pro­fes­sionally present them­selves in their work­places. A woman does have power over what she does with her body, but she cannot nec­es­sarily claim power over the body of the indi­vidual who grows within her.

The Women’s March sought to empower women, but ulti­mately the fight appeared to be over the notion of whether a woman should be answerable for her actions. The message entailed the short-sighted desire for a woman’s full control over her body, free from con­se­quences.

Cre­ating a movement where women can encourage respectability in one another, respond to inap­pro­priate behavior with decency and grace, and show the maturity that predators lack is the most empow­ering response women can make. The most empow­ering action women can take is to protect not only women preyed upon in the public work­place but also the dignity of the future world-changers in the wombs of women.

This movement can pave a path for all women by moving toward rec­og­nizing and building up women in other coun­tries who lack the basic right to enter work­places or pre­serve the life of her child.

The Women’s March exhibits a mis­di­rected gen­er­ation of women who do not rec­ognize the power they possess to facil­itate change both here and abroad.

 

Isabella Redjai is a freshman studying English.