Standing up

My first weekend in Perth took a turn – for the better. 

I had just gotten off the train to Perth City for lunch when I noticed a bunch of women holding signs under their arms and heading off towards a specific location in street. Like a cat, I became curious and quickly noticed that the signs had words like “body”, “choice”, and “rights” written on them, and then I saw one that had Roe v Wade on it. Bingo! It was a march against the recent US Supreme Court decision.

The atmosphere made me feel a string of emotions – not one prevailing over the other. I was angry, of course, by the things that women all around the world are subjected to at the hands of men. I was also equally sad and touched and inspired but most of all I was hopeful. 

I was hopeful for the generation of women we have ahead of us. They were unafraid to take to the stage and bring light to the serious issues that we face. They were fearless in raising their voices to let the world know that they have the rights to be listened to, not just heard. 

It was definitely an electrifying feeling shouting, “My body, my choice” that Saturday afternoon. 

I know that the recent news in America might spark an uneasy feeling in some of us, especially if you’ve got friends and family in America who might be gravely affected by it. 

I know, too, that it’s hard sometimes to feel optimistic about the future in times like these and because of that, you just want to lay in bed and not deal with the world. Then you feel guilty for not joining your sisters to march on the streets but just know that it’s completely okay to step away from the news to deal with what you’re feeling first. 

It’s also okay if you don’t feel like marching the streets and shouting into a megaphone in front of a big crowd. Advocacy and standing up for what you believe in takes many forms. What’s important is that we keep these conversations going and hold space for others to share their stories. 

If you or you know someone who needs support following the distressing news, head over to Student Life to book a counselling session or find some wellbeing information. 

Tagged in What messes with your head, women's rights, health and wellbeing