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Saturday, January 21, 2017

WHY we march ...

I'm struggling for a title here, because I have no interest in preaching to the already converted, I want to reach readers who don't yet understand why women are marching today. That's not easy ...

Let's begin with an anecdote. I'm Maori. New Zealand's indigenous race. I'm many other things also but that is a key part of my formative years. I was the Maori girl, from the Maori family. In those days, in some homes, it came with a stigma.

I'm also light-skinned, well-spoken and could easily "pass" for white, something indigenous people know all too well.

Obviously, I'm also female. But I'm smart, talented and tough, and while I will never "pass" as male, I know my worth and can negotiate it. As a friend wrote elsewhere today, I am an exception.

Except I'm not.

Simply being female means I have to be better, stronger, more capable to aspire to the same rewards as a mediocre male. It means having to be brash and outspoken to be heard. It means, often, that I need to assess the mood of the males around me and adjust my behavior accordingly.

It means that being treated equally is an exception, and that is why we march ...

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