Today is International Women's Day and I have a hard time being a woman. There is this ever present notion that I am less valued in society. From cat calling, to wage gaps, to what I should have been wearing the night I was raped, it seems like men have all of the answers. I feel like I am in a constant spiral of- Women are expected to earn respect when we are appointed to a position. Men get respected because they have been appointed. When will I feel true respect I wonder.
Women’s rights are human rights, regardless of a woman’s race, ethnicity, religion, immigration status, sexual identity, gender expression, economic status, age or disability. We practice empathy with the intent to learn about the intersecting identities of each other. We will suspend our first judgement and do our best to lead without ego. We follow the principles of Kingian nonviolence, which are defined as follows:
Principle 1: Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people. It is a positive force confronting the forces of injustice and utilizes the righteous indignation and spiritual, emotional, and intellectual capabilities of people as the vital force for change and reconciliation.
Principle 2: The Beloved Community is the framework for the future. The nonviolent concept is an overall effort to achieve a reconciled world by raising the level of relationships among people to a height where justice prevails and persons attain their full human potential.
Principle 3: Attack forces of evil, not persons doing evil. The nonviolent approach helps one analyze the fundamental conditions, policies and practices of the conflict rather than reacting to one’s opponents or their personalities.
Principle 4: Accept suffering without retaliation for the sake of the cause to achieve our goal. Self-chosen suffering is redemptive and helps the movement grow in a spiritual as well as a humanitarian dimension. The moral authority of voluntary suffering for a goal communicates the concern to one’s own friends and community as well as to the opponent.
Principle 5: Avoid internal violence of the spirit as well as external physical violence. The nonviolent attitude permeates all aspects of the campaign. It provides a mirror type reflection of the reality of the condition to one’s opponent and the community at large. Specific activities must be designed to maintain a high level of spirit and morale during a nonviolent campaign.