Emily Jamieson, from Cunningsburgh, was one of the 40-plus participants taking part in the Sister March last Saturday. As a GP, she gives her perspective on why the event was important.
Pain is something I see a lot of on a daily basis. Physical pain yes, but also a huge burden of emotional pain. Often that pain is as a result of some human interaction.
Many folk face extra challenges which makes life more difficult for them. Sometimes that will be obvious, maybe the colour of your skin or the fact that your body doesn’t work in quite the way other people’s do.
Sometimes a load is carried on the inside, maybe your memory might be going or you can’t read. Maybe someone hurts you at home. Or maybe you can’t stay off the drink. Maybe your first sexual encounter was one that you didn’t have much say over.
If society has treated you well, it can be difficult to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. I consider it one of the great privileges of my profession to have shared in and been educated by some of the most profound moments of life. It can be amazing, but it can be pretty tough. We live in a relatively affluent society, but truly it still is an unequal one.
In Shetland I regularly see women who have experienced a range of mistreatment from men – from subtle gender put downs or letchy comments to full on physical and sexual abuse.
I, along with many women, have had conversations where the other party can’t remove their eyes from my chest. But really, for me, it has been at its worst frustrating, I am lucky.
When we marched on Saturday in solidarity with people from the seven continents of the world, we marched in support of a more egalitarian and compassionate society, here in Shetland, in the USA, in Saudi Arabia, in Afghanistan in the Philippines, in the DRC.
One of the precious freedoms we have here in the west is the right to peacefully protest, to express our opinion, to march. EMILY JAMIESON
We marched in support of equal rights for all human beings all over the globe. We marched to show our support for a world without racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, misogyny and to protect the precious freedoms and rights we have for our children.
The rise of Trumpism, with its predominantly inward looking agenda, is bound to affect the rest of the world. Yes, he was democratically elected, and yes those who marched have to take that on the chin.
But surely one of the precious freedoms we have here in the west is the right to peacefully protest, to express our opinion, to march – something those in Saudi Arabia, Iran and the DRC do not have.
Those oppressive, tyrannical regimes will be looking to Trump in the west and thinking that his election vindicates their misogynist agenda.
There is a casual flippancy to the way the so called leader of the free world has disregarded and degraded people who do not fit his world view, often some of the most vulnerable in society, those carrying their burdens of a different skin colour, sexual orientation, nationality, gender.
His Twitter feed reads like a crib sheet for some of the charming individuals who chose to troll those of us who marched at the weekend. But hey, it’s just a bit of “locker room” humour.
Why is it so controversial to try to stand up against this, to remember we all carry some hardship and treat one another with an equal dignity and respect? I do not want my children to turn to me in adulthood and ask me why I did not stand up for the rights of their generation so hard fought for by my forebears.