While today is a day to celebrate the achievements and advancement of women everywhere, I think it’s also important to acknowledge the elephant in the room.
Yes, women have the same legal rights as men (at least on paper), but we still have so much work to do in society and among ourselves.
Our justice system still does not protect us from sexual assault. Rapists hardly get slaps on the wrist for the crimes they commit. Some states are making laws that pretty much prevent rape from being a crime despite the fact that these laws literally ignore the definition of rape.
Victims of both sexual and domestic violence are shamed and accused of lying when they come forward, yet people rush to defend their attackers without question.
Some people still believe that the gender pay gap and glass ceilings are myths despite the fact that there is evidence and statistics.
The death rates of transgender women (and men) is on the rise. Our president is creating policies that put them in danger and the Supreme Court is ignoring this fact (Google Gavin Grimm).
Still, women who claim to be feminists refuse to understand the concept of intersectionality and only take into consideration women who look like them. The needs and voices of women of color are still being ignored and talked over and therefore defeating the purpose of feminism as a whole because they look up to women like Lena Dunham, Amy Schumer and even Emma Watson.
Yes, the controversy surrounding Emma Watson’s topless photoshoot proves exactly why we need feminism, but let’s not forget that she has criticized other women and questioned their feminism because they did the exact same thing. Fake feminism like that is what’s holding us back.
Lastly, let’s not forget that this fight for gender equality means equality for men and gender nonconforming individuals too, who are severely lacking in resources.
So today, celebrate how far we have come and the strides that we have made. But tomorrow, remember that our work is not yet done.