The day Donald Trump because our President, I was terrified. I was convinced all my rights were going to go away. I have always been unafraid to speak my mind, but as soon as Trump came in the Oval Office, I was silenced. Until I saw my 14 year old cousin, my aunt, and my mother. All of these women are strong, powerful women, and I thought to myself, “Where did I go?” I was already heavily advocating for help for drug addicts and those with mental health issues, but I added women’s and human rights to my list. I wanted to make a world better for my 14-year-old cousin. So I went from a woman to a BAMF. Every time I saw someone comment on abortion rights and the defunding of Planned Parenthood, I defended it. I started being open and honest with myself about previously being sexually assaulted, and stopped shaming myself for not being perfect. I found new heroes in my process, such as Elizabeth Warren, and started going back through history to find women who changed their paths and, in essence, changed the world.
Why did I do this? Because as Queen Bey has said before, “Who run the world? GIRLS.” This is true on so many levels. We have the right to do whatever we want in the world. I never thought I would have the ability to move into the non-profit world, but I did. You have to find what you love, and FIGHT. Fight until it hurts, and fight until you win. With enemies out there in this world, at the end of the day, there will never be anyone to fight for you but you. You have the right to say what you would like to do with your own body. This is something that many people don’t seem to understand, and that is the most frustrating argument. It is believed that because I don’t have the right to do what I please with my body, I don’t have the right to do anything. Once, I was told that if I didn’t want to have a baby, I should close my legs and refrain from having sex. As it will make you laugh, it made me laugh. Then I got up and started fighting for myself and my rights. And what was this person’s response? Calling me names.
I tell my cousin every day that she has the right to do whatever she wants, and I will support her. I will do the same for every woman who needs it. We need to band together right now and fight for ourselves. Teach people what fighting like a girl means, because they will remember that at the end of the day. You don’t have to be just a mother or a wife, just as you don’t have to be just a career woman. You can have it all, and then some. You just have to believe in yourself. You will have ups and downs along the way, as life is not perfect. Always use that as more fuel for your fire, and you will achieve everything you have ever dreamed of and more. No one will ever stop me from doing what I want, just as they will never stop you. Remember that and let’s get in formation.
Author: Carly Kotlyn
Author Bio: Non-profit founder, scholarship creator, school speaker, full-time worker, furniture repurposer, and a woman with many hats. Follow me on Instagram @carlsbadcavernss.