I was raised to find a husband instead of a career, to learn to be a good cook and keep the house tidy. For some this is a cultural norm, a generational ideology I suppose, but when I stepped out into the world and saw that women were doing the opposite I had an upheaval of values. I was no longer who I was taught to believe and realized that it is possible for women to change their role and place in society.
Feminism isn’t about a loss of femininity in order to be equal to a man, and if we are equal to a man it should never be mistaken for a loss of being appreciated as a woman. It simply means equal pay and opportunity, not the disappearance of chivalry. So many people easily confuse the two. It now means I can get in a ring and box, that I can negotiate the same wages as the man standing next to me who shares the same qualifications and that I can step out of my home and drive, vote and decide that maybe I don’t have to be married to be complete as a woman.
The word feminism is loaded with so much substance and yet is so threatening to those that don’t understand its meaning. I honor the women that have made it through adversity, have stood strong when they’ve had the very least of opportunities, keeping the faith that not only will they change, but the perception of the place of women in the world will too.
There are so many women that still, in our current modern world, do not have the basic, simple freedoms that the average woman has. The ability to speak her mind, wear a skirt, think for herself or even indulge in taking time out for doing something that honors her. I have never taken that for granted because I see it not only in many countries, but here, in the West where I live. So it is our responsibility as women to take the first step out of hesitancy and fear into the unknown and embolden other women that do not have the courage to know that once they too, take the first step, strength becomes easier.
Finally, as a woman, never let anyone tell you that your dreams are too big, that your femininity limits you or that you cannot achieve your potential. We are not here to mold into beliefs that are suitable for pleasing a man. We are here on the same footing as man and should take large strides towards the belief and acknowledgment that there truly isn’t anything we cannot do.
Here’s to all women, the ones that have arrived, those that are strong women in the making and those that are slowly beginning to realize that they have all the potential in them to rise and inspire other women. Take risks, speak out, stand up for others, be an inspiration and most importantly, embrace your wild.
Happy International Women’s Day. Let’s make herstory, not history!