My "dream world" can exist. It must. I want to live in a world where being a woman doesn’t create threats and where I don’t have to prove I have the same rights as my male peers. Interning at NFBPWC has helped me discover the ways in which the world I dream of is possible and the dedicated women of NFBPWC are working to make it happen. I’m right in the middle of it, working with the leadership team of the organization advocating for women. I hope to use my voice in the issues surrounding violence against women and the Equal Rights Amendment.
Women in this country face violence every day.
One out of every five women in the US will be raped in their lifetime (NCADV), one out of every three women have faced some form of physical violence from their partners (this includes slapping, shoving, etc.) (NCADV), and every year 2,000 women are killed by men (Davidson, 2021). I don’t share those statistics to scare you, I share them to illustrate the threat of violence that women face every day.
The oppression that violence against women creates is felt by many women in our country. I felt it when my mom bought me pepper spray before starting college. I feel it when I get worried about my roommates when they’ve been gone on a date for too long. We all shared our locations with each other on our phones just in case something happens. I feel it when I notice that someone has been following me around the store for a little longer than could be considered a coincidence. This discomfort is heightened when news stories about women being targeted for assault and crime are shared. It is felt by every woman when another “here are the latest tactics that are being used to harm women” post makes rounds on the internet.
None of this is to say I live my life in fear, just in a heightened state of awareness my male peers don’t. All women know the consequences of being a woman, especially those in violent relationships. We can never be too careful because it seems like every day there is another tragic story about a woman who was beaten or killed by their partner. This kind of violence, both the threat and acts of violence, is something that I want to see changed. I want to live in a world where my womanhood doesn’t put a target on my back.
In addition to wanting to be free from the threat of violence, I want to live in a world where the ERA is an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Because there is currently no Constitutional backing for the rights that women currently have, a lot of our rights could be overturned with a simple majority vote in Congress or judges that rule against precedent (Equal Rights Amendment). The ongoing efforts to ban abortion show how fragile our rights really are. I shouldn’t have to prove that I have the same rights as men.
Having a Constitutional amendment affirming that men and women are equal is long overdue and would help continue our fight for equality by providing an unquestionable legal backing to our efforts. I want the ERA to be ratified so that there are legal protections for every woman. Until every woman in this country is equal with men and has legal protections there is still work to do.
Interning at NFBPWC is helping me make the world I dream of a reality.
I'm learning the ins and outs of running a non-profit that advocates for women through my work with the executive committee. I’m developing my voice in ways that I never knew were possible. The connections that I am building and the skills I am gaining will allow me to become an even better advocate for women’s rights and empower the women around me to the best of my ability. My BPW internship is helping me make my dream world with equal rights for women and freedom from violence a reality.
About the Author: Bryn Norrie
Bryn Norrie is a student at the University of Colorado Boulder pursuing a degree in Political Science with a minor in Sociology and a certificate in Peace and Conflict Studies. She has been on the Dean’s List at CU Boulder for the past four semesters and has a cumulative GPA of 3.93. She will be graduating in May of 2023. Outside of academics, she is an active member of the CU Swim and Dive Club, the Socioeconomic Justice Society Club. In her free time, she also volunteers at the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center and the CU Restorative Justice Center. She is currently living in Boulder, CO but comes from an Army family so home changes most summers. Being outside and with her friends are her favorite things to do, most weekends she can be found hiking, skiing, or playing volleyball in her backyard.
Davidson, Caroline. “Now Should We Speak Femicide?” Ms. Magazine, 15 June 2021,
NCADV. “NCADV: National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.” The Nation's Leading Grassroots Voice on Domestic Violence, www.ncadv.org/statistics.
Equal Rights Amendment. “Why We Need the Equal Rights Amendment.” Equal Rights Amendment, www.equalrightsamendment.org/why.