March 8th was International Women's Day. A day to celebrate and show solidarity as a group of women. A day to be proud of who we are. A day to stand together.
It sounds lovely doesn't it? Women supporting each other, building each other up. But is it reality?
Is it fuck.
Let me tell you a little story about March 8th 2017 - International Women's Day.
I was scrolling through Facebook when I noticed a post on a local mums group within my area. A lady was asking if she could share her business page. This particular business page offered a specific service that was free of charge. It was offering a personal handmade item for bereaved parents to bury with their angels who had passed away. The service was initiated through personal loss and was really just a bloody lovely idea that came from nothing but a kind and empathetic heart.
I wonder how many people who witnessed this post shared flowery lovey dovey memes on pregnancy and infant loss awareness month?
I wonder how many people who shared those memes watched as this lady was told she was unable to share her page on the wall as it was technically a business, because aside from the free service, she also made and sold clothing for babies (including preemies).
I wonder how many people who saw this rejection later saw an admin from the page share a special offer for a local business that included a giveaway of chocolate?
I wonder how many people who saw this special offer saw my comments questioning why this was allowed on the page when a free service for bereaved parents was not?
I wonder how many people who saw my comments also saw the admin's response that she could bend the rules in regards to advertising if she wanted to and had chosen to do so because "she liked chocolate" and if I didn't like her choices that was up to me, but she knew what worked as she has been running this page for a number of years.
I don't need to wonder how many people saw my response to this (zero) because the thread was deleted and I was unable to retaliate to what was possibly the most insensitive and rudest person I have ever encountered.
So I'll write my response here. In the hope that my fellow women will stand with me.
I'm really sorry that today on International Women's Day, and on any day really, you chose to completely undervalue your fellow women's opinions and feelings. I'm sorry that you felt a free service that catered towards the needs of bereaved mothers didn't deserve the same acknowledgment as some free chocolate. I'm sorry that when challenged about this you couldn't muster the courage to say "You're right. I have been insensitive" and instead chose to attempt to belittle me (the operative word being attempt) and use your authority on the page to bat down any opinion that I held. I'm sorry that you don't seem to have grasped that infant loss is very real, very relevant and extremely prevalent. I'm sorry that sharing supportive services for parents who have lost their babies doesn't "work for your page" as much as sharing free chocolate does.
But most of all, I'm sorry that you chose not to stand with your fellow women. And I'm sorry that mothers may have seen your comments and now feel that their grief and need for support is something that shouldn't be spoken about. Should be silenced. Because it's not as interesting as chocolate.
What a joke.
So I'm using MY platform differently to the way you used yours. I'm using mine to say "Women! I support you. I stand by you. I will listen and be respectful of your opinions and experiences. I will stand up for you. I will speak up with you."
Because I am unable to stand by and keep my mouth closed to unjust and unfair behaviour.
I am woman hear me roar.