'Woman to Woman' 

Dear Minerva,

For this week's Day Without a Woman, I've seen mixed responses from elation for the amount of support to critiques that it excludes women of color, gender queer individuals and those not assigned female at birth. What takeaways might you have for how to be fully inclusive while fighting for gender equity? Is there a better way?

—Fighting for Feminism

Dear Fighting for Feminism,

I, too, have seen the mixed responses ranging from very narrow views to petty whining and complaints about the existence of Caitlyn Jenner. Here's the deal: Women in our lives play an incredibly important role. Women teach us about inner strength, resilience and fortitude. Like any day of celebration and reflection, it only excludes those who refuse to participate. Feminism is about choices. If someone considers themselves a feminist, they must realize the experience of being a woman is different for all women. Part of it requires us to stand up and claim it for ourselves, individually. There are as many ways to be a woman as there are women, and we cannot rely on others to tell our stories for us. It is easier to complain than to take ownership of our own legacy and role in the narrative. No one was asking me to be who I am, I had to do it myself and was lucky to have supporters and encouragement. No one was sending me engraved invitations to the party. Show your face, and claim your place!

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