Celebrating being a woman
Yes, I am inspired to write this today because it is International Womens Day. Although it is really important to me that you know I think about these things often, sometimes every day.
Firstly, I want to acknowledge just some of the hurtful and wrong aspects that are still part of being a woman today:
- Horrible, unfathomable statistics on women being killed every single day, right here in our own back yard in Australia, at the hands of an abusive partner. How can this still be happening? Why are we not empowered or supported enough to get away from these horrible men? I don’t know the answer. I wish I did.
- Women only earning on average 79c for every dollar a man earns. I mean, seriously, are you kidding me right now?
- Women experiencing unacceptable discrimination at work when they are pregnant, on maternity leave, or trying to return from maternity leave. Why oh why is this still happening?!
- Totally unequal distribution of household jobs where there are certain things a woman is still expected to do certain things just because she is a woman. Really?
It’s a long list and there is more I could add; for now it is the beginning of a list I want to shine a light on, and I do just that whenever I can. Not only on International Womens Day.
Today, though, on this special day where we are called to celebrate all women, I want to do just that – celebrate some of the reasons why it is so wonderful to be this amazing creature that I am blessed to me.
Today we reap the benefits of the options that have been handed to us by those women who have fought before. We should acknowledge them and be grateful.
Today we are equipped with an understanding of what it will take to see true change, by teaching our daughters and our sons that we should all be feminists. By that I mean we should all just believe that women and men are equal, because they are. That we have the chance now to show them how, that it is really possible, and that our children will be the true cultural shift we have longed for.
Today we can watch women play AFL footy on TV.
Today my daughter can decide what she wants to be based on every strength she has at her disposal that does not include her gender.
Today my daughter can celebrate that she is the one who is the woman. That this is a great and powerful privilege.
Today my sons already understand that “like a girl” is not an insult – in fact it can be a compliment; that we are all good just as individuals, not boys or girls, at certain things in our lives.
Today I can demonstrate to my children that as their Mum I am just as much part of the decision making as their Dad is. He is not the boss. (Even though he would probably like to be!) And neither am I. We are partners in this journey we have chosen to go on together; that we are still choosing to go on together every single day.
We can chose those parts of ourselves that are the most important and the more relevant in whatever situation we are in; there is no part of ourselves that needs to be suppressed anymore. We can be strong, courageous, vulnerable, loving, caring, selfless, selfish, nurturing, sexual beings. Whatever we want to be!
Today women can start a business without any barriers being put in our way just because we are women. True!
We can finally embrace all our beautiful feminine qualities in the workplace. We no longer have to behave like a man to succeed. (That’s not to say we don’t all still see this happening – but that’s every woman’s prerogative, I am saying it doesn’t need to be that way anymore.) Embrace your intuition, your compassion, your empathy, your strength in communication, your ability to hold space without a solution, your nurturing qualities – embrace it all to make your workplace a better place. We don’t have to hide our true selves anymore.
We can bring a life into the world. This makes us amazing, remarkable, strong, and special. Regardless of whether we choose to do this or not, because our bodies are our own. Really, really, really special.
I could literally go on and on about this, because I truly believe I am the lucky one here right now just because I am a woman. No doubt there is much more you would like to see written here!
We are daughters, we are best friends, we are mothers, we are wives, we are ourselves now more than any other time in history has ever allowed us to be. And that is why we need to celebrate today, and every single day, being a woman.
So heres to all my superheroes out there – to those women and girls that lead the way and have led the way before us – thank you for all that you have done to bring me here today.