An Open Letter for International Women's Day

An Open Letter for International Women’s Day

Dear Wom­en of the World,

March 8th marks the cel­e­bra­tion of Inter­na­tion­al Women’s day, for­mer­ly Inter­na­tion­al Work­ing Women’s day. It is a day of reminder that the fem­i­nist strug­gle con­tin­ues. For me, it acts as a per­son­al reminder to com­bat the inter­nal­ized patholo­gies that I have con­tract­ed as a male liv­ing in this world. The­se patholo­gies are born of an edu­ca­tion afford­ed to me by my birth coun­try and its polit­i­cal envi­ron­ment. Patri­archy and misog­y­ny are sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly taught in the cur­ricu­lum of “demo­c­ra­t­ic” cit­i­zen­ship. They are so well ingrained in our soci­ety, that the sick­ness is hard to pin­point and even hard­er to erad­i­cate. It is can­cer­ous. All I know is that I haven’t just come down with it, I have always had it.

This is an open let­ter to my Moth­er whom has always cared for me, all the wom­en who have loved me, the wom­en who have hat­ed me too, to the wom­en I have loved! This is an open let­ter to the wom­en who I’ve belit­tled, the wom­en who I’ve hurt, the wom­en I felt I have used in any way. This is an open let­ter to my sis­ter, to my niece, to my first love, to the one I let go, to the one I cur­rent­ly love, to those I have lost in my life. Here is an open let­ter to the girls I threw rocks at in ele­men­tary dur­ing recess, to the young wom­an I once slapped, to the wom­en I have ignored, or judged due to the way they look. This is an open let­ter to wom­en every­where.

This let­ter is an accep­tance of mis­takes made and a dec­la­ra­tion. I here­by declare my con­tin­u­ing sup­port in the fem­i­nist strug­gle. I will strug­gle with the patholo­gies I have con­tract­ed. I will fight this sick­ness with­in myself and at every turn I will fight side by side with the wom­en in my life for equal­i­ty. I declare war again­st patri­archy and misog­y­ny, racism, homo­pho­bia and hatred. Make no mis­take this isn’t about ret­ri­bu­tion, this is about heal­ing a sick soci­ety and help­ing to move it for­ward. As an edu­ca­tor I vow to teach for equal­i­ty. I promise to con­struct crit­i­cal envi­ron­ments for my stu­dents to reflect upon the­se ill­ness­es in our soci­ety. I will give them an oppor­tu­ni­ty to make amends for what has been done and to move for­ward in build­ing a soci­ety based on kind­ness, gen­eros­i­ty and equal­i­ty. I will work with­in this sys­tem which prop­a­gates patri­archy in order to dis­man­tle it and start anew. I will give my female stu­dents the oppor­tu­ni­ties my peers, my Moth­er and my sis­ter nev­er had. I will teach my girls to take the place they right­ful­ly deserve in soci­ety. I will teach my boys about our pathol­o­gy and how to fight it. I will show them how to fight with the girls in their life. I will lead by exam­ple. I promise to fight until the job is done. This is my dec­la­ra­tion.

I would like to thank the wom­en in my life for mak­ing me the man I have become. You are all the most intel­li­gent, crit­i­cal, kind and gen­er­ous beings I know, and I would be noth­ing with­out you. The best way that I can thank you is to stand by you in this fight. So here I am.

Yours Sin­cere­ly,

Com­rade Kev­in M. Rowe