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.
Comrade Kevin M. Rowe