“Feminism isn't about making women stronger. Women are already strong. It's about changing the world perceives that strength”. - G.D. Anderson
January 21st, 2017. Nearly 100 years after women took to the streets to demand a voice, we did it again – in record numbers and pink pussy hats too, I might add. And while the rest of the world mocked us, silenced our concerns and doubted our abilities, we did what women do best. We got to work.
2018 was a record year for women. If we’re being honest, women are sick of putting up with nonsensical bullshit and it’s apparent all over the nation. We called out sexism and sexual assault in the workplace with the #MeToo movement. We won 102 House seats, 14 Senate seats, and 9 Governorships in the United States. There was the first woman to put in charge of the largest US Army Command, and the first woman to run the New York Stock Exchange. Four out of every ten businesses in the United States are now women-owned. Women hold more educational degrees. We’re even the breadwinners in the majority of households.
So the strength of women is not what needs to be questioned, examined or proved. Women are ready and willing to take on leadership roles, and in many ways we already have.
But what International Women’s Day demonstrates is that the narrative around “feminism’ still needs to change. Yes, we want equal pay, equal opportunities and equal representation, but that doesn’t signal the demise of men. Nor is that what we’re trying to accomplish. What women want is the same thing as anyone else - to be recognized for their abilities and valued for their individual strengths. To have a seat at the table. To be listened to. To add to the world around us in a meaningful way.
Gone are the days of trying to prove that men and women are the same. Gone are the days of saying that women need to ‘act like men’ to advance in their career. Everything that happened in 2018 was because we started acting like women. Like ourselves. Where we weren’t invited, we barged in. When we weren’t offered a seat at the table, we created our own. When we were told we couldn’t, we most certainly did. We changed the way people perceived our strength on January of 21st, 2017. And it’s only just a glimmer of what’s to come.
So women - today is the day to honor you. To allow yourself to be completely, and uniquely free of any expectations or perceptions, and just be you. The world needs your strength and your talents. Because when we believe in our strength as a woman, it will force others to do so too.
And men -
Don’t feel bad for us. Do better for us. That’s what being an ally means. The best way to celebrate women today, is to just let them be themselves. To recognize the very unique strengths we already possess. To value our contributions as women.
We can all create a better world when we are allowed to be ourselves. So let’s keep working.- Danielle
T.E.A. Director of Development