Why OITNB’s Diane Guerrero Is Marching This Weekend
Even when “Orange Is the New Black” actress Diane Guerrero was a kid, she didn’t take any shit.
“I didn’t know what it was called, but as a kid I was never one to let someone tell me I couldn’t do something because I am a girl,” said Diane. “I never accepted that.”
So it makes sense that she’s one of the celebs who’s using her platform to join the Women’s March on Washington this weekend.
Diane has been brave and individualistic since day one. Her parents, who came to the U.S. illegally from Colombia before she was born, were deported when she was only 14. While it was hard for her to cope with that, she still wanted to get active and make a change so that this didn’t happen to anyone else.
But her desire for change doesn’t extend just to immigration reform. Diane’s been a card-carrying feminist since high school.
“I learned about Simone de Beauvoir and about all these amazing women in philosophy and politics that had great insight in the women’s movement. I’ve always felt myself empowered in the choices I have made,” Diane said.
Speaking of choices, a lot of women find that choosing what to do with their own bodies carries a stigma. When I asked Diane if she had ever been slut-shamed, she said, “Sure, I have.”
“And how did I respond?” she continued. “I told them to go fuck off!”
She chose to not listen to the them, and, like the rest of us, found out her biggest critic is actually herself.
“The only time I have been affected by [slut-shaming] has been when it comes from myself, and I worry about what would people think,” Diane said.
“You do something that’s a little raunchy or off color, and you think ‘Oh my god, was that slutty?’ But normally, we let men do that all the time, and it’s just play and the way boys act. But when a woman does it, she’s a harlot,” Diane said.
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These outrageous double standards still drive her desire for change. She calls herself an intersectional feminist, and has been in vocal af for the past two years about politics. Especially about her personal passion for immigration reform.
Even though Saturday’s march is for women and their rights, its purpose could also be extended to human rights in general. This march is both a celebration and a protest: a celebration of women, but also a protest against the new president who continues to prove time and time again that women’s rights, or anyone’s rights really, are of little concern to him.
But the Women’s March on Washington is going to do more for women’s rights than just bring awareness. It’s forcing us all out of our comfort zones to call attention to problems we are facing when it comes to how women are viewed and treated in our society.
And that’s why it’s so cool that we have as many celebs as we do who are willing to speak out and join this march.
“We have to push ourselves to be considered equal in this society that programs us to think that we are not,” Diane said. “It’s in the everyday hidden messages that tells you what society’s idea of the role a woman can play can the world.”
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When Diane thought about telling people her personal story of her parents’ illegal immigration and deportation, she again stressed about what people might think of her.
Celebs who get involved in politics risk alienating their fanbase, who could at any moment pull the plug on their entire careers. But Diane would rather speak up.
She pushes herself to speak out about her personal situation and parents deportation. Even though she might have of doubted herself for just a second before, she says that the stakes were too high for her to stay silent about a matter that has affected so many people.
“I want to encourage others to use their voice and the power within them,” Diane said, “and that they also matter. That’s why did it. If someone doesn’t like me for my political views, at least I’m welcoming a conversation about it.”
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Like women’s rights, Diane said that immigration reform is just as needed, and we should really be more aware of how much all of these issues tie in together.
“They are both something that we so desperately need,” she said. “We need immigration reform and rights, just like we so desperately need women’s rights to be met. One wouldn’t work without the other. If we don’t believe in equality and justice for women, how can we believe in justice and rights for immigrant women?”
To Diane, all of these issues, including the Black Lives Matter movement and Muslim rights, are all human rights and that’s why they matter. In order to start really moving towards equality, if you care about one, you have to care about the others. They’re not mutually exclusive.
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But the fight doesn’t end with the Women’s March on Washington. It’s actually just beginning.
“Then after that, we organize,” Diane said. “I have dedicated myself to certain organizations, and will continue to support them.”
She also wrote a memoir called “In the Country We Love,” which she tours with and talks about immigration reform and her story. She travels to colleges talking to students, but Diane also has another cause she will be working on during the next two years.
Some Congress members will be up for re-election in two years, and Diane said that’s where the change needs to happen. With Congress completely controlled by the Republicans now, voting in Democratic members will be more important than ever.
“We saw big things happening in this last election and I don’t think people are going to sleep now,” Diane said. “They are going to be more motivated than ever, and more diligent and vigilant about their rights and knowing we have the right to vote.”
And people really aren’t sleeping anymore. It blows that it took the election of Trump for people to wake tf up, but the amount of women who will be attending the Women’s March is really is unbelievably inspiring.
“The march will just remind people that there are a lot of us, we will not let a small group of people who want to go ten steps backwards take away our rights,” Diane said. “The march is about releasing some of that force. It’s 2017 and there’s no way we can go backwards. There is only forward.”