I have been surrounded by strong women my entire life. I was raised by a single mom who worked hard to take care of my sister and I. She has endured many hardships through her life as well as abuse. My grandmother was another strong woman who helped to shape me into the man I am today. She too endured horrific abuse from the men around her. Other women in my life who have suffered their own struggles are my sister, my aunts, and my daughters.
For many years women’s voices have struggled to be heard and to be believed. Many times they won’t speak up because of fear. Fear of not being believed. Fear of the consequences they may face if they do say something. Fear of the waves they may make in their families, their churches, or their jobs.
If you look at the statistics of how many women have been sexually abused you’d be surprised at the number. It’s very likely that someone you know has been a victim. Yet, no one says anything because of the previously mentioned fears.
I’ve lived in Mexico a little over a year now. There are many things I’ve learned while living here. One of them is that the Mexican people are some of the nicest and most welcoming people you’ll ever meet. And unfortunately one of them is that the women here have to deal with a lot of hardships. Many times when a woman is murdered, no one is brought to justice. The statistic is the same fore sexual abuse, more than likely quite a few of the women you know have been abused. These are only two of the concerns. We could also talk about harassment, both sexual and physical, kidnapping, and equal rights.
One thing that sticks out to me is a couple of weeks ago a friend of mine and I were walking out of his house. A woman was walking down the sidewalk toward us and when she saw us, she completely went out of her way to walk around us. She felt unsafe. That’s sad. No one should have to feel unsafe just to walk down the street in broad daylight.
Right now in Mexico women’s rights is a huge issue. Tensions are boiling over, and rightly so because women are being kidnapped and murdered. At one point the women were marching and defacing monuments and statues and a lot of people began to say how horrible it was that they would do that. These statues were very old and people were upset that they were being spray painted.
Tell me, what would you do if your wife, mother, sister, aunt, or daughter didn’t come home and they found their body days later? One woman whose daughter asked her this question said she would burn everything down. I know for me that’s how I would feel! If someone hurt any of the women in my life and no one seemed to even care to try to find who did it. I’d be defacing everything and setting everything on fire to show them my frustration.
I will never understand what it’s like to be a woman. I will never have to bear that burden. But I stand with them. I will help carry the burden. I will help to make changes where I can to make better future for them, both here and in the US. Today, March 9, 2020 marks a day without women. The ones who are participating are choosing to stay home form work and school, they also will not be buying anything. My hope is that this will be the beginning of changes for them. So today, I stand with you.