Fighting with the Sky

The 4th of July vs. Independence Day

Posted on: July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

It’s that time of year again. That time where we are patriotic for a day, even if we aren’t that much in “real life.” Welcome back, Independence Day…or should I say the 4th of July, since Independence Day doesn’t hold a lot of meaning anymore. Independence Day is losing its meaning because we are letting it. While the United States was certainly not perfect at the signing of the Declaration of Independence (and it still isn’t, as we all can see), the breaking away from Britain is a moment that should be celebrated. Today, the 4th of July is no longer Independence Day. It is a day of parades and fireworks. There is nothing (or close to nothing) historical about it.

Feminism is about fighting back against all forms of oppression and sexist norms so that women and men can be equal and can be who they are without fear of persecution. This is the foundation of our country’s Declaration of Independence and Constitution. Our Founding Fathers (not Mothers) stood up to Britain in the face of persecution and oppression. This should be celebrated on Independence Day, not pushed to the sideline and replaced by marching bands, floats, and fireworks.

And while I am more than happy to celebrate the founding of the United States through activism and solidarity, I am not so thrilled to celebrate the current state of this country. Don’t get me wrong, I love living in the United States. I have a lot more freedom here than I would other places. My friends and family are here. My life is here. It’s what I know.

There have been some advancements recently. We have elected our first African American president. And Obama has done some wonderful things for the country and for women. But we are nowhere near where we should be. Feminists still have a long, unending road in front of us. Women’s equality will always be fought against. At least in my lifetime and the lifetime of my readers, no matter how old you are right now.

Women still hold a second class status in society, along with any identity that is not middle class and up white males. Health care and reproductive rights especially are being threatened. An appointee to the Supreme Court is criticized pretty much solely because is a Latina. Women are still paid less then men for the same job. The welfare system threatens the well being of low income women. Sexism is still present throughout society, especially in the media. Feminism has become “the f-word” that people are scared to identify with.

Independence Day needs to be celebrated for what it is. For the break away from Britain and with that persecution and oppression (for white, land owning men). We need to remember this and work towards it again. We need to fight against the persecution and oppression of the status quo. We did it before when we broke away from Britain. We can do it again.

Happy Birthday America! Even if another year doesn’t always bring great news.

1 Response to "The 4th of July vs. Independence Day"

Feminism is about fighting back against all forms of oppression and sexist norms so that women and men can be equal and can be who they are without fear of persecution. This is the foundation of our country's Declaration of Independence and Constitution." ~ Hear, hear! As in, I hear that, sister! Feminism is also about encouraging women to regard our ambition as a virtue, as the best of who we are, rather than seeing it as evidence that we are bitches, selfish, bad mothers, repellent partners, and on and on. Ambitious women owe it to ourselves — and to our country — to make the contribution we were born to make (and we deserve to earn our worth doing meaningful, challenging work). The world deserves to hear from us. Sincerely, Debra Condren (I found your blog on SheWrites.)

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