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March 08, 2017

Revolutionize Your Mind the Same way you Revolutionize March 8

By Mitzi Salgado

Today is a big day for a lot of people. A day to celebrate all women and to spearhead women’s rights. While I will be marching alongside friends and revolutionizing our current society for a better tomorrow, I will also be doing other radical, and less conventional advocacy that I eventually learned as a feminist that we should all be doing too: I will not judge other women nor will I discriminate them.

This is a practice that every person should do daily. Sadly, it is not in our culture to embrace women, which is why today is so important. However, women’s rights are more than just a protest and a march, if we want to take women’s rights seriously, we must start with ourselves. We must stop shaming other women.

I write this piece to remind folks that today should not be an isolated day of revolutionary marches, but also to tell people that marching is not enough to see the change in the world. Like Gandhi said, “be the change you wish to see in the world.” So, I invite all people that while marching is an excellent way to illustrate the glass ceiling and express our female struggle, I also invite women to be mentally connected, to be sympathetic, and to be in solidarity.

What I mean by this is the following:

No shaming other women when they want to express their femininity, sexuality, or gender. When you show up to work, and your co-worker is wearing a revealing blouse showing off her twins, criticizing her shirt, the twins or her persona is feeding into the idea that women who show revealing clothing are sluts, whores, and aren’t worthy of respect. But I am sure you believe that as a human being you deserve respect no matter what you wear. Because women who wear burkas are also sexually harassed, dressed in a revealing blouse will not justify you as her fellow woman (who probably owns a similar blouse at home somewhere) to minimize that respect that she deserves.

No judging for not being feminine. Part of today’s purpose is to ask of society that women are widely accepted and respected for their accomplishments. Women are more than what you see; women are more than just a piece of hot stuff, women are more than just the individual identity of what society views or thinks of a “woman.” When other women judge each other for not wearing enough makeup, feminine clothes, etc., we are telling her that there is no more value to her than what how she presents herself. As you can imagine, this is one of the leading causes for the glass ceiling in our workforce in current time. Women reach a glass ceiling because our work is not valued because we are viewed as women before we are seen as engineers, CEO, directors, scholars, or leaders. Let’s take a step back and stop with the criticism of “not enough” and “too much.”

Intersectional feminism is by far one of the most, if not the most, concept known to feminist theory and a massive contribution to the world today. Every person is different and behaves differently. Often, people behave differently based on a what their culture allows. A women’s choice and a women’s decision to act is hers, and should not be surveilled, even less by a fellow woman.

It’s hard to say that women should not police each other without policing the mere acts that destroy solidarity. But today I invite every person who identifies as a woman, to resist the course of society and stand by your fellow women at today’s march and liberate yourself from the patriarchal mind.

So, before we walk out the door this morning and go into the world talking about how awesome women’s rights are (they are quite the awesome), let’s make March 8 worthwhile and revolutionize our minds as well as our streets. Because it is not radical enough to go out and march along your brown, black, Asian, and Muslim sisters, it instead starts with revolutionizing our minds to dare to embrace each other just as we are different.

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