OneBillionRising 1

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The last time I slept through the night was May 18th 2010,
The first time I loved so complexly was vomiting on the city bus,
The first time I broke so thoroughly was when I watched her body turn blue,
The last time I lived so freely was sometime late September,
So let me nod to those women who feel what I feel,
Who lost what I lost,
And who never thought twice about whether it was worth it.

~GI

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The myriad roles of women cannot be written down.
We’re not all the same, but have been artificially grouped into a neat category.
When I was young I looked up to women because they were my primary educators, trailblazers, pioneers, medicine people, and mothers.
For me, each of those women made a mark on my soul; they added character where none existed. In the process, I became a woman too. Now I aspire to help others succeed in the ways my community helped me.
Being a woman is difficult, life is full of disappointments. Roles are expected to be filled and gratitude only flows one way. Times are slowly changing – small strides create long journeys. Here I am, the product of generations of small strides. I question what my goals should be, where I can make the deepest impact. And I hope the answer will reveal itself, because backward areas of life still exist.
Helping women isn’t about just helping females though. One must also invest in males, those who are given primary social dominance. In order for change to take place, and for women to step up to equal and equitable footing, we must show men that there are reasons for this to happen. It starts with education, upbringing, and socialization. How we allow our youth to treat one another, the roles we conscript them into, affects their future placement, and the outcome of this struggle. We can continue to make small strides, or we can choose leaps and bounds.
I’m not asking for autonomy, but rather for collaboration. I assert my right to demand more from the government, society, and men and women as individuals.
Women should not need to walk in groups, flocking in fear of violence. We should be able to wear materials and emotions as we like and not wonder if we will be deemed raunchy, rapable, or weak. I hope you understand that women currently occupy an objectified, subordinate position in the eyes of the majority. This is not a natural way of being. Rather, it is the product of history. I enjoin you to become a part of our solution. Because as it is the duty of women to improve the lives of men, it is the duty of men to improve our lives as well. It starts at the level of the individual

~JB

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