Celebrating Women | International Women’s Day 2017

A day like today has never seemed so important, but the current social and political climate has made the desire to celebrate women and the privileges I benefit from on a daily basis that were hard-fought and won by women who would not just sit down and shut up and let the men do the governing/voting/working/”insert thing women have been told not to do because it’s a man’s thing.”  Because I have so many more privileges than say, women in the 1950s or 1850s or, dare I say it, 1450s *shivers,* I can see how easy it would be to say, “Women are already equal! Stop whining and moaning for no reason!” I can see how it might look like women are 100% equal from certain point-of-views (both male and female!) I can see how rally cries against something that you don’t see as a problem or even existing can be exhausting.

But I also know how exhausting it is to be a woman in today’s society. No matter the rights that have been won for me, there is still so much work to be done. (And so much work to do to keep the rights that were previously won too!)  It comes in many different forms.  Organizing rallies and protests for the activist soul. Teaching your children how to recognize and understand sexism’s historical and current influence on our society. (This sounds lofty, but it’s really as simple as “Hey, did you know women AND men can make sandwiches? For each other even!”) Making art that portrays your experience or calls out wrongs you see in the world. Leading by example in whatever field you might be working.

I’ve thought a lot about what I want to say today on this topic, and my problem is that there’s too much! But most of it is calling out wrongs, and I’ve found that when I do that, while I might connect with a few, the louder voices always seem to be those who so viscerally disagree with me that rather than trying to understand my point-of-view, they call me names and dismiss me because of the way I look or something related to my gender. So rather than opening that proverbial can of worms, I thought I’d throw some confetti in the air and celebrate women with a few truths I like to hold close to my heart.

 

We are all our own superheroes. Don’t ever let anyone beat you down to the point of convincing you otherwise.

Women helping women is a beautiful and powerful thing. (This is something that took me a long time to realize because I didn’t understand “sisterhood” until I actually made close, REAL female friends. I think it’s completely possible for a woman to go through life without really connecting with or trusting other women. And I’m so glad that I was able to crawl out of that terrible, lonely hole).

All bodies are beautiful. All colors. All sizes. Every jiggle or scar or muscle or patch of hair. They are also not inherently sexual, no matter their level of covering. Take back your body. Love your body for what it is and how you wish to wear it.

In other words, love yourself. Love others. Make the world a better place by being the truest version of you.

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