Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Today is a day we celebrate the great civil rights leader. He spoke against the discrimination of the African-American community. He spoke on behalf of workers’ rights, and he was against the capitalistic system we are currently in.  We can learn from Dr. Marin Luther King when it comes to our work with women’s rights.

Right now, we live in a culture where rape is not only okay, it is encouraged. From putting certain women on a purity pedestal to slut shaming, we have a lot of work to do. You are either “pure” or you’re a “slut.” There is no in-between. Women are judged morally by what we do with our bodies. I am pretty sure many of you realize this. Men are not judged morally by what they do with their bodies, so it’s time society stops doing this with women. But sadly, we have a long way to go. There are many religious extremists who take their daughters on ‘dates,’ have them participate in purity pledging ceremonies and purity balls (by the way, you can look up purity balls on youtube, it is a pretty disgusting and degrading movement).

Women need to be judged by the content of their character (kindness, compassion, intelligence, social engagement just to name a few things), and not by what we do with our bodies. Jessica Valenti published a book in 2010 called The Purity Myth, How America’s Obsession with Virginity is hurting young women. It is an eye opening book and I encourage every young man and woman to read it. The Purity Myth also just came out as a documentary. Ladies, the fight for our dignity has just begun. Let’s remember what Dr. Martin Luther King did, and let us emulate his legacy.

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

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Last month, Women’s March Co-Chair and anti-Islamophobia activist Linda Sarsour was invited to give a commencement speech to graduates at the City University of New York School of Public Health. But now, local politicians are pressuring the school to withdraw the invitation because of Sarsour’s left-wing politics.

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