Updated: Mar 14
I don't know if you noticed, but I didn't write about International Women's Day on Monday, March 8th. I did it for a reason!
I love that there is a day celebrating it and the first time I had heard about this ‘holiday’, I was 17 and living in Italy. One of the guys in my class gave all the girls a flower. I was enamored with this idea and welcomed it. It was the first time I had heard of such a thing and I thought it was about time we celebrated women! I was tired of feeling like we were 'less than' or a minority in which few men truly saw our value. As a driven and ambitious teen woman, I knew the competition against men was real!
I spent all of my school years competing to be at the top of my class with boys and even upon my high school graduation, the top 4 in our graduating class, 2 of the 4 of us were boys. So as enamored as I was at 17 receiving that flower, as I've aged, my thoughts on this holiday have changed.
Why do we need a special day to celebrate women? Why can't we be celebrated every day and more importantly, why can't women be seen and valued as equal to men? We see women fighting for respect in men-dominated industries; politics, engineering, law just to list a few. We still see women succeeding at very demanding careers and then come home to be the housekeepers, to raising children, to being the 'doting' wife, and juggling all those things with a smile on her face and with no complaints!
I'm tired of the misogyny in our society! Recently, the Premier of Ontario told the Leader of the Opposition Party to "shut up" and that her nagging voice was like listening to nails down a chalkboard. The leader of the Opposition he was referring to happened to be a woman. People were outraged and demanded that he apologize to her and he refused! Misogyny at its best rearing its ugly head in parliament! Let's not forget that her role as the Opposition is to hold the Premier accountable for his decisions, making sure that they are in the best interest of all Ontario citizens.
Would the Premier have said the same to the other Opposition Leader? Nope, but then again, he's a man. He vilifies professions that are female-dominated - nurses and teachers more specifically! Throughout this entire pandemic, his rhetoric has been damaging to public education and openly calls teachers lazy and accuses them of not stepping up to the plate, but won't address his lack of care for the safety of all entering school buildings with minimal safety measures in place and says teachers are whining when they ask for more which is often not for themselves, but for the safety of their students for whom they show up every day even though they are putting themselves and their loved ones at risk.
How often do we see or hear a woman called a bitch when she has a strong personality in business and is driven to achieve and be successful. A man who does the same is called a leader or said to be ambitious and driven.
So now is the time for us to say enough is enough! It is time for us to demand better; to demand true equality. It's time for women to come together and raise each other up instead of trying to get ahead of each other to win this patriarchal game of business. EMPOWERED WOMEN EMPOWER OTHER WOMEN! Let's face it, men have been in charge for thousands of years and we see where that has gotten us. Time for women to take charge and make this world hum harmoniously, effectively, and succinctly!
We celebrate love on Valentine's Day instead of making each day important enough to show it! We celebrate Moms and Dads one day a year instead of cultivating those relationships as they shift and change as we age. Let's celebrate women for the courageous and strong beings that they are and celebrate what they offer the world and do it EVERY DAY, not just on March 8th!
Every day is a gift; tomorrow may not be ours to take. Life is fleeting. Celebrating the gifts we bring to the world, and being grateful for the blessings that come our way is crucial to our survival and ensures we leave nothing unsaid should our time be up.
So I'm celebrating women every day; those who are mentors, those who have taught me incredibly valuable lessons even when the intention was not out of kindness or goodness. I celebrate all people who work daily at making this world a better place and leaving a legacy to those we leave behind.
Let's celebrate each other, right now, right here! What will you celebrate today?