Fighting for the rights of the disabled has been a big cause of mine since Nicky was born. Anything related to him not only to have the basic EB supplies, but for wheelchair access, awareness and the like. I fought really hard for some of these things, and most of them didn’t come easy at all as some of you that read my book Butterfly Child know only too well. To say that I was made to feel like a leech or a burden on society is a gross understatement.
Not “everyone” matters is a message I got, loud and clear.
Having said that, this fight that I’ve pressed on for my son to have the same rights and care as anyone else, is not a fight that is unheard of in our society. Many people feel that same sense of inferiority for something they didn’t choose. People don’t choose the color of their skin, their gender, their disability, sexual orientation or the circumstances of how they were born. Rising above is not easy when society at large views them as “less than” and choose to turn a blind eye.
I watched a movie a few months ago called Suffragette and it truly made an impact on me. So much so I made my own research on the matter. I was horrified. Women in those days were treated a step above a slave. They worked for hardly any money, they had no rights whatsoever and even in a divorce, they would never get custody of their child. Women lost their families, children, jobs, homes and died for our right to vote. Yes, it was THAT bad.
This right was finally given to us women in 1920, which is still less than 100 years ago. In my home country of Italy, that right wasn’t given until after WW2 when the Royal family was exiled and the new government had to write a new constitution. This means that my grandmas were in their 40s when they could finally “vote”.
I once had a teacher in 9th grade who called herself a “feminist” and basically taught us girls what that meant. It was illuminating and brilliant what she did for us.
I heard a woman yesterday… yes, a woman, below a post of the Women March, say that Feminism is a “cult” and how we were all brainwashed.
Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.
Did you know that women could not get a credit card in their name until 1974?
Did you know that Yale and Princeton didn’t accept female students until 1969?
Did you know that laying off women employees who became pregnant wasn’t illegal in the US until 1978?
Did you know that it wasn’t until 1973 that women could serve on juries in all 50 states?
Did you know that the Boston Marathon wasn’t open to women runners until 1972?
I could go on, there are so many things to mention, but all the above was AFTER I was born. It’s hard to imagine.
All you have to do is look at cultures that oppress women and I show you a third world country.
Michelle Obama once famously said: “No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half of its citizens.”
If I can’t express my sentiments clearly enough, let it be said that when the most qualified person EVER to become president of the US, which just happens to be a woman, loses the election to a carnival barker with zero experience, who, on a national televised debate called for her to be jailed and nasty, whose first thing he did in office is repeal a law that helps women and take funds away from women’s clinics, the fact that women have a long way to go to be treated as human beings should be crystal clear.
I applaud all the women who participated in the Women’s March. I applaud them because they understand, like I do, that women have a long way to go. We must keep fighting. Don’t let anyone tell you any different.