For anyone that knows me, it probably isn’t surprising that International Women’s Day is better than Christmas for me. I spent years trying to work out what my passion is when I was a kid. Seeing so many people discover their “things” and grow into themselves was awesome, but hard. I felt lost. It’s only more recently that I’ve realised that my passion is women. The fight for equality and the changing conversation about what that really means is what I care about. Everyone has a fire inside them and this is what lights mine.
I’ve talked before about how men could have more of an impact on the conversation (and lets be honest, stop violating and harassing women, that would be grand) and there’s still a long way to come, but I love this day because it really reminds me how far we’ve travelled and how proud I am to have so many amazing women in the world and my life.
Scrolling through social media this morning, I loved seeing different people’s perspectives on who they consider inspiration. Mothers, sisters, friends, colleagues and prominent women in history, they all matter to people in different ways. Each post was brimming with love and positivity. Two things we could all use a little more of.
When women show their emotion, their hysterical. When they take charge, they are bossy. When we stand up for ourselves, we’re crazy. But not today. We share our feelings and connections to other women, why they matter, and how they have changed us and we become empowered. We embrace our natural femininity and stand proud.
Equality was never about being the same, it’s about having the same opportunities. The problem is, the world is built for men. Everything from technology, work places and even health care (heads up ladies, signs of a heart attack look very different for us compared to what’s advertised). Through the battle to gain opportunities, we’ve become round pegs trying to fit into a square world.
Personally, I am incredibly emotional at times. That doesn’t make me crazy and difficult (like so many men in my life have told me), it makes me deep and complex and interesting, and allows me to connect with people in a way that that so many can’t. I cut through the bullshit and I’m honest. This doesn’t make me any less lady like, it means I’m fed up with placating society’s expectations of me. I love doing my make up and wearing “girly” clothes sometimes, but I want to be respected for my mind and my work, and what I wear shouldn’t be a consideration in that. Today, I am reminded to be proud of all these features I hold, and so many more. I will remember to question the people in my life that try to hold to their own standards and I will not be gaslighted into taking the easier way out by making myself smaller and easier to consume.
Thank you to all the women in my life that have shown me the way. That there is more than the path set for us by society and for paving the way to make it easier for me to walk my own way. I see you, I love you and I will never stop using my voice to hold you up.