I choose to care about and fight for women’s rights because I care about women. It’s not just about me. It’s about all of the women I have known, do know, and will know, who have, do, and will influence my life. It is about my mother who, despite her failings and abuse, was a victim of a system that did not take her mental illness and addiction seriously because she is a woman. It is about my grandmother who wanted a career and the power to choose her own destiny but could not because women born in the 1920s had very few options. It is about my sister, my beautiful, brave sister, who is staring down bigotry to live and love another woman; for that matter, it is about her equally beautiful and brave partner, who is doing the same. It is about my best-friend, the most wonderful and strong woman I know, who works very hard and is raising three fantastic children as a single mother; and it is about her children, one of whom is my god-daughter. It is about all of the women, who I am proud to call friend, or rather sister. It is about all of the women all over the world who are made to believe that they are, by virtue of being born a woman, expected to behave in a manner that is chaste, reserved, and essentially second to men.
It is about my teachers and professors, male and female alike, who want all of their students to have the same opportunity to succeed regardless of sex. It is about my Dad, who loves his daughters beyond reason and has never stopped believing in us and who has never allowed us to believe that we can’t achieve our dreams, and who has also worried about how the world he was sending us into would treat us simply because we are women. Likewise it is for my Uncle and my dearly departed Grandpap, who love/d me and believe/d that I will achieve greatness. It is for my husband, who works hard to help me achieve my goals because he believes in me and wants me to shine. It is for my son, whom I do not want to inherit a world in which women, like the mother he loves and the wife and daughters he might someday have, are treated was anything less than equals, deserving of their own autonomy.
It’s not just about me. It’s about humanity.