Why I am Rising!
I am rising today to end violence against women and girls around the globe for all those who cannot rise with us…
I’m rising for all of those women and girls who cannot rise, whose bodies make up those mind numbing statistics of those who did not survive;
I’m rising for the women and girls who cannot rise because they’ve been told that their bodies, their lives, their futures, their hurts, their hopes, and their sorrows are less important than the men and boys in their communities;
I’m rising for those who have been told that they must wait until the struggle against poverty, against racism, against homophobia, transphobia against world capitalism is all finished before the every day lives of women become important.
I’m rising for the women who are left behind when environmentalists negotiate with soldiers to save the gorillas and to spare the forests, but forget to mention the women and girls;
I’m rising to break the chains of the women for whom violence has locked down their futures, the 114,000 women in the US and the over 500,00 world wide who are incarcerated, literally chained up, most for whom prison has become a collateral consequence of the violence they have suffered;
I’m rising for the girls in juvenile detention, girls who have suffered physical, emotional, or sexual abuse before they reach 18, who make up 90% percent of the girls caught up in the juvenile justice system;
I’m rising for the homeless women and girls, the trafficked women and girls, the disabled women and girls, whose pathways to suffering were forged through violence and emotional abuse;
I’m rising for all the women who waited for family, friends, ministers, communities to stand with them, to protect them, to cherish them, and who are still waiting. I’m rising because at some point I too, waited…
I am rising because Rosa Parks rose.
Long before she sat down to protest segregation, she stood up to fight against the sexual abuse of Black women in Alabama in 1944. Rosa Parks understood something then that we all struggle to understand now— that the intersections of all of these “isms” means that a stand against one must be a stand against all; that to be truly liberated, the determination to break one chain must be extended to smash all of them.
I’m rising because if Rosa Parks and others like her around the world can rise up to fight lonely and dangerous battles, then we, a billion strong, can certainly do no less, here and now.
I am rising because I know that the voices of all of us can amplify the demands of individuals to be free. I am rising because when we realize that personal not only is political, but national, international, and global, our worlds can change.
Be sure to learn more about the One Billion Rising Campaign, and look for Crenshaw on the live feed tonight at 6pm pdt.