November is not only National American Indian Heritage Month, as declared by Former President George H. W. Bush, but it is the month that houses the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (Nov. 25). Who can possibly have a problem with that?
You’d think no one. However, when I posted this article on my Facebook page the day that it cycled around to me. I got a seemingly nasty note from someone I consider a dear friend. We’ve been friends since girlhood, even sharing the same Brownies Troop. I love her like a long lost sister. So why the anger?
I don’t think the anger was directed at me. I think it was directed at the powers that be who have allowed this gender inequality to go on for thousands of years. We’re both one of the 1 in 3. We can both claim that ‘status’ several times over. Despite everything that has been thrown in our paths to beat us down, we’ve chosen to stand back up and continue. We both agree that humanity must make a change in how it raises their children. That starts with feminism – or gender equality, if you prefer.
As UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, Nicole Kidman writes, “Imagine a world free from violence against women and girls. A world where equality and respect and justice are not just ideals, or possible for only a few women and girls, but the norm for all of us. Each of us has a role to play to make this happen. Play your part.”
I agree that we all must play a part. The earth is our home, and we are all human. We have invisible borders that keep us separated into groups that we continue to believe are more meaningful than the greater story of us. These borders and group affiliations only serve to separate us, and to keep us accessible to the abuse of those in power. That perpetuates domestic violence and rape, not of just women and girls, but of boys and young men. That cycle feeds the 1 in 3 women and girls will experience some form of violence in her lifetime. It’s time we make the change we want to see in the world.
Read Kidman’s statement on The Huffington Post: