Women’s Protest for Equality
On April 17, a group of around 30 people gathered at the Free Speech Pavilion in Downtown Naperville for the Women’s Protest for Equality.
The goal of the event was to create social change, raise awareness, offer support, and educate people on the issues of sexual assault and domestic violence.
“For so many centuries women have been taught to be polite, to please, and to pander to men for fear of retaliation,” said organizer Tabitha Myers. “We need a paradox shift on gender violence, sexual assault, domestic abuse, sexual harassment, relationship abuse, sexual abuse of children which are all included under gender violence issues.”
Myers spoke about gender violence and what she believes are some key issues.
“Calling gender violence a woman’s issue is a problem. Giving men an excuse not to listen. It shifts the responsibility onto the victim and off the abuser. The way we use language conspires to keep our attention off of men and targets women,” said Myers. “What was she wearing? How much did she drink? Why was she there? She should’ve known better. This is all rhetoric women have heard shouted at us. Making us responsible for being harassed, raped, and murdered.”
Myers said one in three women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime and statistics show that number is higher for women of color.
One speaker, Zoey Laipple, talked about one of her concerns.
“Today I’m going to be focusing on a problem so concerning to me because we’re doing it to ourselves,” said Laipple. “It’s when women abuse or bully other women. In our fight for equality we should not be battling one another, but fighting for each other.”
She talked about her own experience of when she was eight years old. She was wearing pajama shorts on Christmas morning when an older female cousin called her a sexist slur for wearing them.
The protest included six speakers and three vocalists. The event ended with a Q&A session.
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.
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