(image by the awesome Nina Cosford)
Anyone who’s ventured online today, or listened to the radio, or even turned on the tv should be aware that today is International Women’s Day. Every year on the 8th March we are encouraged to spend a day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women.
I know I’m a bit late to the table with a post but women’s rights are something I’m quietly passionate about and I couldn’t go to sleep without writing down some thoughts on the subject. I’m not one to preach or force my views on others but sit down and talk to me and there’s no doubt about it. I consider myself to be a feminist and I’m proud of that.
Whilst I believe we have a lot to celebrate and be proud of when you compare the lives we lead, and our daughters will live, compared to what our grandmothers and great grandmothers had to deal with, we still live in a world that is not always equal and for that reason alone IWD is worth celebrating and fighting for.
I have seen so many wonderful, strong, supportive posts shared today empowering women and it makes me smile and be proud to be a woman.
I saw a quote today from Dale Spender, “Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties. Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions… for safety on the streets… for child care, for social welfare… for rape crisis centres, women’s refuges, reforms in the law. If someone says ‘Oh, I’m not a feminist,” I ask Why? What’s your problem?”
Isn’t that brilliant? the word feminist has and still does invoke images of male hating, bra burning angry women but that’s not true is it? Anyone who believes that every girl has the right to an education, that no female should feel unsafe walking home, that all women have final say when it comes to their bodies; what they want to do with it, who they want to share it with and what they feel about, it is a feminist in my eyes. I will raise my boys to be respectful of females, to appreciate them and treat them as equals… I will raise my girls to never think they can’t do something because of the sex they were born. Want to be a footballer, or a mechanic or pilot… why the hell not. Girls can do whatever they want to do and any daughters I may be lucky to raise will be encouraged and supported and I hope they never doubt themselves or ever think some doors are shut to them “just because they’re a girl”.
I am positive about the future and have felt a real change within my friends and social circles recently. Wether it’s an age thing or just a feminist movement but I feel women are sticking up for each other more. There has been a recent wave of empowerment around self worth and body positivity recently and that can only be a good thing. When we stop valuing a girls worth by her appearance and start praising her strength or hard work we start making those girls understand that they are worth so much more then their outer appearance.
When women stop comparing themselves to others, when the media stops dictating to us what we ‘should’ look like and aspire to be, when we’re not put into boxes and when we can just be…
I could go on and on but with only a few minutes left of IWD I’m going to lay back, have another biscuit (with no guilt) and continue to listen to a ’50 all time awesome women’s playlist’… But I’ll leave you with this to consider and ponder over… Written 40 years ago it’s a bit scary how much of this is still true of today, and is a reason to continue fighting for women’s rights regardless of if you’re male or female!
Finally here’s to all the women I am lucky to know, the strong, beautiful, powerful, talented, clever, brave and wonderful women in my life. You are all amazing and you make me oh so proud of my gender today.