"Digital. Black. Stong. Woman." - Made from screenshots of all the Instagram posts giving credit to my photograph taken of Ashabi Owa.
Today is "International Women's Day." I can't help but think about how much as changed since I took this photograph of my friend Ashabi. This photo has traveled around the world multiple times. And because of that I've seen strength, encouragement, and understanding. But at the same time I've seen hatred, misogyny, racism... and ignorance. I still have a lot to learn... but I'm very proud to say I'm a feminist, and for a variety of reasons. I've heard more stories that have brought me to tears than ever in my life before... and to know that these things happen on a regular basis to women simply because they are women infuriates me. There's a reason I say "feminist" and not "humanist". And yes I agree all people should be treated equally, men and women a like. But WOMEN have a history literally centuries deep in the books of being second class to men. So for you... 25 year old white guy at the coffee shop wearing loafers... I feel you think your heart is in the right place, but you are just wrong. You can walk the streets alone at night, and maybe your biggest concern is being robbed. A woman however... has to worry about much more frightening things happening to her. Women shouldn't be put on a pedestal... they should be looked eye to eye. They shouldn't be objectified, they should be treated as a human being. They shouldn't be sexualized, they should be respected. They shouldn't be ogled, they should be admired. They shouldn't be defenseless, they should be protected.
Some say, "oh well she should have known better than to put herself in that situation." Maybe there's some truth to that... but there's more truth to the fact that any f#cking man should know not to rape, abuse, or belittle any woman... no matter if she's drunk or not.
Anyway... I know I have a lot more to learn. But today I just want to give a shout to all the strong women out there that get up everyday and kick ass regardless of what any ignorant man says or does.