Saturday, October 16, 2021

Column: Choose to challenge gender inequality, uplift women every day

March 8, 2021
Photo by Emily Maze | The State News

International Women’s Day should not be a holiday.

Whoa! Slow your roll! Put your pitchforks and torches away and hear me out.

International Women’s Day should not be a holiday because we should be uplifting women and challenging gender inequality in society each and every day across the world.

Making a specific and single day for an action – treating and celebrating women like the human beings they are – that should be normal ultimately pushes the topic further down the drain of presumed unimportance and, therefore, we see no change made, no steps forward taken.

That’s the opposite of what women everywhere want and need.

For a better comparison, I can’t help but think of Valentine’s Day. That, in my opinion, should not be a holiday either, for the same reason: We should be treating our partners with the same amount of love and respect 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

There should be no difference in our celebrations of companionship solely because it’s Feb. 14 and there should be no difference in our celebrations of women solely because it’s March 8. If there is, you are a victim to the jaws of capitalism and I am obligated to extend my condolences – I hope you get well soon.

International Women’s Day is every day.

As I’ve grown older and been put through situations that younger me couldn’t imagine, a new appreciation for the women in my life, especially for myself, has blossomed.

Like snowflakes in the wintertime, each woman is different in what they bring to the table. Each woman has a purpose, no matter how small, here on this floating rock we call home.

For example, my mother is passionate and strong, as are her mother and sister. My two younger sisters are the light at the end of a dark tunnel. My mother’s friends, our lifelong neighbors, are nurturing and safe. All the girls I have had the honor of calling my friends over the last 21 years are intelligent, talented, here to make a known and lasting impact.

There’s a quote by Cher that really resonates with this topic for me. It goes like this:

“My mom said to me, ‘One day you should settle down and marry a rich man,’ and I said, ‘Mom, I am a rich man.’”

img-8461

Take a minute and reflect on how that makes you feel.

You are a whole woman.

Read that again. Read it as many times as you need to until you truly believe it.

Regardless of what you do for a living; regardless of where you went to school; regardless of whether you have a partner or not and who it is; regardless of whether you can and have kids or not; regardless of your skin color or sexual orientation or religion or political affiliation, etc., you are a whole woman.

Own it.

You are not here, in this timeline, solely to fulfill society’s grubby greeds.

Do you want the news without having to hunt for it? Sign up for our morning s'newsletter. It's everything your friends are talking about and then some. And it's free!

You have a whole army of women, of sisters, who stand behind you, whether you know that or not. Women support women, now and forever, as we raise the bars, break the glass ceilings and kill the stereotypes.

The movement towards gender equality is far from over. We’re just getting started, so roll up your sleeves and let’s hit the streets, loud and proud.

If there is a woman in your life who you thought about while reading this article, even if it's yourself, go to her and give her a hug. Thank her for everything she’s done for you. Celebrate her. Lend her a helping hand. Cherish the greatest gift of life there is: Women.

Discussion

Share and discuss “Column: Choose to challenge gender inequality, uplift women every day” on social media.