The International Women’s Day website recognizes March 8 as “a global day celebrating social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.” The theme for 2021 is “CHOOSETOCHALLENGE. Challenge people to call out gender bias and equality. Challenge people to celebrate women’s achievements. Challenge people to create an inclusive world.
A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change.www.internationalwomensday.com
So let’s all choose to challenge.
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We have seen a lot of challenges in the world over the last several years. Women have been fighting for generations upon generations for equality. I was once flat out told I made half as much as my male counterpart because “He’s a man. You’re not.” That was in 1988, and the first time I experienced discrimination because I was a woman. It wasn’t the last.
The 80’s and 90’s were an interesting time to navigate professionally as a woman. It didn’t improve much as we moved into the next century. I simply learned to play the game better. These days, I don’t play the game at all. I chose a workplace owned by a woman whose staff is 99% women. I have no desire to work for a large company ever again.
Hear Me Roar
In the 70’s Helen Reddy sang the song, “I am Woman”, a feminist anthem of sorts. I remember being 6 or 7ish and riding in the car with my hippy-ish aunt. We sang the song loudly along with her 8-track tape and she made me learn the words. I am Woman Hear Me Roar…and we would roar, loudly. She said it was important to always remember I was as good as any man. And to roar whenever I needed to remind anyone. It made an impact on me. (We also sang Bad Bad Leroy Brown and Delta Dawn, I mean, it was the 70’s after all!)
The mother was more traditional than the aunt. She didn’t see why women needed to do anything but get married and have babies. She didn’t approve of burning bras or the Women’s Movement. I never agreed with her on that. I always wanted more out of life. That was always a sticking point with us.
Sometime in the early 80’s I came upon Maya Angelou’s book “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”, and wow. The story bothered me for a very long time. Racism. Molestation. Strength of Character. It was a lot for a teenager to take in.
Somewhere along the way, probably in the late ’90s, I stumbled upon Angelou’s poem, Phenomenal Woman. I am not much a poetry person, but this one spoke to me. You do you and be phenomenal because you ARE phenomenal. It’s an amazing piece of poetry that every little girl should read.
As I’ve gotten older, I find myself leaning into the roaring and trying to be phenomenal. We as women really can do anything we put our minds to. We can be astronauts, doctors, lawyers, politicians, spouses, mothers, sisters, friends. We can do it all, and then some.
International Women’s Day & History Month
March is all about women! The month of March is International Women’s History Month while March 8 is International Women’s Day. Did you know that International Women’s Day dates back to 1911? Go suffergets!
March, the month where spring blossoms, is a perfect time to educate about equality and celebrate the amazing history of women around the world. Because there are a lot of them who have done phenomenal things, and a lot of us who are well on our way. Phenomenal women.
I am strong. I am invincible. I am woman.
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