So today is the 8th of March, also International Women’s Day! I love the fact that there is a day to celebrate women, their achievements and their rights. I’ve only really began learning about Feminism over the past couple of years and I have so much left to learn but I’ve enjoyed the experience so much and I am definitely already a proud woman and feminist.
I wanted to take the opportunity today to say thank you to all the women in my life. That’s women I know and women I don’t. From family, friends and teachers to powerful women in the media, I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by females that inspire me to be better every day. There are women in my life who are stay at home mothers and women who are teachers and cleaners and there are women in my life who are business women and managers and self employed and everything in between. I have role models in every aspect of my life, women who I admire and trust and who teach me what it means to be a woman every day.
And what do I think it means to be a woman? Well I think I’m still working that out. But right now, to me, being a woman means being strong and proud, being ambitious and compassionate and caring, being able to do things alone but also knowing it’s okay to ask for help. It means being proud of who I am and making sure I help to make the people around me be proud of who they are too. More and more being a woman makes me feel like I’m part of something. Though the culture of girl hating is still present, everyday I feel more and more like women are learning to build each other up instead of tear each other down.
I live in a world where life for women is getting better even though issues are still present. I’m aware of my privilege as a white, heterosexual, cisgender woman and know that a lot of women don’t have it as easy as I do. Casual sexism might be an issue I come into contact with sometimes, but they have problems I can’t even comprehend. I think International Women’s Day is a time to celebrate how far we’ve come and reflect on that, as well as think about how we can go even further.
Being a woman is such a huge part of my identity. I’m learning to love myself, my femininity being a large part of that. I remember when being told I was girly was a huge insult and sometimes I’m sad to say I still take it that way. I remember when I didn’t understand the implications of the phrase “you hit like a girl” or “you’re not like other girls”. I’m glad to say that for the most part I don’t think that way anymore and I’m extremely proud of who I’m becoming as a woman.
I continue to seek guidance from women much smarter than me, more experienced, women with their different view points and lives, as well as to stand on my own, grow and learn who I am knowing that being a woman, while a massive part that, will never be the only thing people see about me.
So Happy International Women’s Day. I hope you stand together, men and women and ever gender in-between included, and be proud of who you are, and who the people you love are and who you will all eventually become.