Follow-Up Thoughts to Patriotic-ish Post

Follow-Up Thoughts to Patriotic-ish Post July 5, 2017

America’s not doing so great by a number of metrics these days. But there are still some things I’m thankful for, living here as opposed to elsewhere.

Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash. In public domain.
Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash. In public domain.

In my 4th of July post, Insert Patriotic-Sounding Sentiment Here, I had some pretty cynical things to say. But coming off a week+ of dance I’m also trying to focus on gratitude, and there’s one thing that I’m grateful for about living here, despite it still being a mixed bag.

As a feminist, I’m aware that we in the U.S. have a long way to go until we reach gender equality. There’s the wage gap, the staggeringly high rates of sexual assault and domestic violence that disproportionately impact women (and which impact men as well, of course), the lack of assured parental leave and the creeping rates of maternal mortality, and so on.

And from an intersectional perspective, the view is even shittier: women of color often have it rougher, as do trans women, and poor women, and lesbian and bisexual women, and so on. We need to address these issues.

At the same time, we have certain rights that other women around the world do not: the right to vote, the right to own property, the right to an education, the right to get divorced, and so on. I’m extremely grateful for these rights, even as I recognize that we need to keep working to gain access to what should be universally guaranteed human rights.

Among other things, I’m grateful for the ability to discuss concepts like emotional labor and gaslighting without being, like, diagnosed with hysteria for trying to speak up about my discontent. Our institutions continue to fuck up how we handle rape culture, and women’s medical issues are consistently under-funded and not given enough attention… but more of us are finding ways to protest and address these issues.

Pausing for a moment of gratitude doesn’t mean the fight is over. Saying “women have it fine, you got the vote, feminists should shut up and go home” misses the point entirely (and is called post-feminism, for those wondering). Let’s keep working to improve this country for everyone.

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