March is Women's History Month. What does that phrase mean to you? To me it has always meant celebrating the famous ladies of history, which I've been thrilled to do -- the suffragettes, the abolitionists, WWII combat nurses, Harriet Tubman, Amelia Earhart, etc.
However, this year I want to celebrate ALL WOMEN. That's the idea right? But we end up focusing on the ones in the past who "made the cut" over the decades. Even when we get down to celebrating local, living women it is usually those who have reached some traditionally valued achievement like running a company, or earning some grand award (things that have been deemed valuable by a society that has been historically run by white males.) Not to take away from the value of those achievements, but that isn't all life is about, nor the only things about women that should be celebrated. It's time we celebrate the daily things. WOMEN ARE AMAZING!
Seriously, we are. So here are the things that I choose to celebrate about womanhood:
- Women are Brave! -- whether fighting fires or foes in distant lands, fighting disease in hospitals or ethics in court rooms, fighting stereotypes or glass ceilings, women are fighting (for themselves & others.) And let's address childbirth for a moment: giving birth to children takes a whole different kind of bravery (& strength - see below).
- Women are Strong! -- emotionally and physically. We bear children, take on the weight of our family's troubles, and support our friends. Many of us also pursue activities/personal goals that are physically demanding, running marathons, climbing mountains, cycling for miles, lifting our body weight in training, Zumba-ing until we can't stand, etc, etc.
- Women are ambitious - pursuing our dreams, no matter how unattainable they may seem, while balancing our families' lives. This is a big deal. It is not easy to find the time, energy and passion for goals amidst work and family obligations.
- Women are multi-taskers --you've all seen that mother in the grocery store, balancing a baby on her hip, reading a grocery list, ordering from deli counter, settling a toddler who's screaming in the cart. That's just ONE example. Women juggle everything, all the time, work, home maintenance, kids activities/appointments, personal time, goals, ambitions, etc. And somehow we make it work. (Some of us have help, but the distribution of labor is still heavily skewed towards the mamas...and ladies have perfected the role.)
- Women are team players -- women tend to work together (despite the nonsense about us being "catty" and gossipy). We collaborate at work, advocate for others, seek out other mamas for support in the community, and encourage our children to do the same. Even Congresswomen are far more likely to work together, across the aisle, than Congressmen. (imagine if the legislature were all female..what would our world look like then?!) Ties in with...
- Women are gracious/humble-- it is rare for a woman to take credit for an achievement without naming at least one person who helped her reach that goal. (This is sometimes deemed a weakness of womanhood, but I think this is a mark of character; no one gets anywhere alone.)
- Women are compassionate -- whether its a fellow mama needing child-rearing help or a non-profit short on volunteers, women are working to find solutions.
- Women are homemakers - those expressions "a woman makes a house a home," or "home is where your mom is" exist because women tend to take the time to really make the home environment special. Those little details that make a space cozy and inviting are usually a "woman's touch."
- Women are emotional - we express love and affection whenever we feel moved to do so.
See? Women are pretty spectacular ;) And yes I'm speaking in generalizations about an entire gender (get over it, they tend to be true). So, go hug the women in your life. And if you ARE a woman, don't forget to take a moment to celebrate yourself. You are amazing too!
Happy March everyone.