International Women’s Day

I have to admit, I am utterly unprepared to write about this. I completely forgot what today was, and I’ve been going since 5:00am. But I woke up to so many amazing suggestions about different women I should highlight, and different people thought of me and even sent me random texts wishing me “Happy International Women’s Day!” and I feel pretty inspired. I feel very happy that people would associate me with such an amazing day.

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Perhaps this is because my brain is wired to look for improvements, or because I’ve been up for almost 20 hours, but as I was planning out this post in my head, I felt I wanted to focus mostly on what we, as women still need for equality, despite the amazing advances we’ve made. Absolutely from a global perspective, but even here in the US. Contrary to popular belief, we aren’t considered one of the best countries for women, not by a long shot.

This is also a good exercise on what I need to write about and LEARN more about. As I’ve consciously shifted into actively writing more, I’ll humbly admit that I feel there is so much I don’t understand about so many issues that I need to learn about so I can share it with other people. There are issues I simply don’t feel well versed in that I know I should/do care about. I’m actually really excited about this, it’s going to be an amazing learning experience.

What is important to women?

So, here’s the part where I inevitably go on a crazy-yet-relevant tangent. Without giving out details,  I was recently involved in a situation that deeply hurt another person. I felt absolutely TERRIBLE, and, perhaps naively decided to take ownership of my part and apologize, and as I somewhat expected, I got a lot of insults thrown my way, which I felt was fair. One of them was supposed to be a pretty hurtful zing;  “I think you should write a blog about what really matters to women such as solid morals and values…”

Now, because I’m me, I inappropriately got kind of pumped that someone who doesn’t know me directly, or isn’t my mom or a close friend referenced my blog, even if it was in a way meant to insult me. The second part though, like, what? Solid morals and values? For real? This is what “really” matters?

When I see the phrase “what really matters to women” my train of thought goes something like this.

* Sexual assault. One in three women around the world will experience rape or domestic violence.

*We live in a culture that tells our girls to not get raped, rather than telling boys not to rape. This is something I’ve been guilty of, and I definitely plan on fleshing this out further.

*We still can’t pass an Equal Rights Amendment.

*One in three women will have an abortion by the time they’re 45, yet this procedure is so incredibly stigmatized that it isn’t something most women can discuss.

*In our country politicians who are offended by the word “vagina” are shaping our laws surrounding reproductive rights.

*Tons of federal dollars are spent mis-educating our youth on sexual health, disarming them from being able to make informed decisions.

*Billions and billions are spent in the beauty and diet industry that feeds off women and young girls’ insecurities, creating an environment that fosters eating disorders.

*Human trafficking is a huge issue, 80% of the victims being female.

*Lots of the homophobia that is trying to halt the progress of the LGBT population is deeply rooted in misogyny.

*In the media, girls are taught that being beautiful is a precursor to having a story themselves.

*Girls are sexualized at very, very young age.

*Faux-feminist, iconic role models link consumerism to empowerment. Think Carrie Bradshaw, the Kardashians, etc.

* Every single day 4 women and 3 children die as a result of abuse, yet some prominent “news” programs  spend their time vilifying women like Casey Anthony, and now Jodi Arias and her trial for hours on end in an annoyingly cinematic way.

womensdayThere is so much I’ve left out, especially in regard to women globally, but as I said before, that was pretty much a free stream of thought. And for me really, this is what International Women’s Day should be; a rallying cry to celebrate our progress, but also take a good look at what we STILL need to do in order to make the world better for our future sons and daughters, and talk about it.

In pretty much typical fashion I’ve written (and disclosed) a lot more than I intended, but I think that’s okay, I’m seriously allergic to not writing what I’m thinking.

A final note for today? Women have the capacity to accomplish SO MUCH when we work together.  Oddly enough, I’m leaving this with a quote from Beyonce.

“I love my husband, but it is nothing like a conversation with a woman that understands you.”

Hell yes.

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