Today is International Women’s Day, an annual celebration of womanhood and true femininity, a day when women’s issues (abortion, contraception, equality, etc.) get talked about on every radio station, news report, and newspaper around the world.
This notion of celebrating women on one day every year is just over one hundred years old. It began with a Socialist Party of America declaration in 1909. The idea soon spread across the pond to Copenhagen and then Germany, and so the movement became international.
Initially, as you might imagine, the movement reflected the values of the women’s suffrage campaign: equality of rights and voting.
Today is a day when we as western women are grateful for those matrons in long skirts and hats (I always think of the wacky mother from Mary Poppins when I think of suffrage. Unfortunate, I know.), wreaking havoc on patriarchal traditions everywhere they could, in an effort to be treated as they were: equal. Different, of course, but equal.
Today is a day when we are grateful for the second-wave feminists of the 80s who proved that a female executive was every bit as competent as a male one.
We do kind of regret the image of women as master multi-taskers, though. That’s the pressure that urges us to keep up with the housewives AND the career women: look amazing, be involved in our community, keep a clean house, raise smart and well-behaved children, cook healthy meals, usher our kids around to sports events, all the while proving ourselves as highly competent in the professional realm. I’m exhausted just writing all that.
Theory and history and multi-tasking aside, a day to be grateful for the people in your life is a good day.
To the many women that inspire me, thank you. I am honoured to know you. Thank you for speaking into my life, for believing in me, for giving me your time, respect, and trust.
I would name you, but there are too many to count, and I don’t want to forget any.
Please consider going out of your way to appreciate a person today, whether a man or a woman, though it is a particularly ideal day to appreciate the women you know. Like me. 😉