Yesterday was International Women’s Day and the first year I actually let my support for other women fly free. Not that I avoid doing that the rest of the 364 days of the year but I really wanted to show it more openly and broadly. You see, for most of my life, I didn’t like being a woman or other women. Don’t get me wrong, I love men. I am a fully cis-gendered, heterosexual woman. But I didn’t like women for the way they were always perceived to be and sometimes made to feel inferior to men. I grew up seeing a woman ask for money from a man and the sadness behind her eyes when he said no while knowing that it had to be final because she lacked the resources to do anything different. I grew up seeing women delaying things for a man just for that same delay not to be returned. I grew up with the “man is the head of the house” and “the king of his castle” quotes but it angered me that the “head” wouldn’t clean or do anything else for his own “castle” because he thought paying for it was enough. To me, it felt like buying a car but that’s it. We all know that the maintenance must be continued in order for the car to run properly. Men know that. Men make sure that those cars continue to run. So it would stand to reason why they should do more in the house.
It angered me that the women of their lives were expected to find joy in keeping the house neat and tidy for him because he worked an eight to twelve hour (sometimes more) shift. It upset me that their main excuse for their man’s unkempt behavior was that he works hard to be that messy. My challenge question to them has always been this: if you work so hard to clean up after others, who cleans up after you when you’ve also worked hard? They could never answer me. It was then that I promised myself that whoever I’m with will be cleaner and would help around the house no matter the circumstance. Why? Because I expect him to take pride in his own castle. I expect him to take care of the very things he’s put money into as well. But I digress. This isn’t the blog post for that type of rant. The important part is I got fed up seeing women seemingly doing everything for their family just to have to wake up and do it all over again the next day because their families didn’t appreciate the work they did. This caused me to be angry at the statement “weaker vessel” because one can’t preach daintiness or being graceful and yet load her with the brunt of the work like she’s a mule. Again, I digress.
Now with International Women’s Day behind us, I have realized something. Yesterday and Mother’s Day have been designed to praise women but do we realize how powerful we are when it comes to our every day lives? Often times we don’t see it because we’re doing the work. After observing women both in the media and on social media, one thing occurred to me: many women didn’t know that they could opt to take this day off and others who were off were off because they closed the businesses. It’s like those businesses either know the value of their female staff or that (because the majority of their staff are women who would have taken the day off anyway) they closed it because it would be cheaper if no one worked than to pull in people to make a profitable day. Either way, women deserve to know their power and its effects more than twice a year. For any man reading this, you know your power and its effects all the time, so suck it up buttercup. This one’s for the girls! So sit back, hang tight, hear us roar and watch us bite!
To help us women remember our strength and worth, here are the ten most empowering quotes I could find. May they strengthen you. May they enrich you. May they empower you.
Until next time, ladies, remember we rock. Men, remember we roar and will bite, but just because we can do that doesn’t mean we think of you any less. We are truly capable of being your partners, to stand next to you in solidarity, to hold and sustain you when you’re weak and to empower you to greatness while holding our own. Yes, we are that fierce! You’ve just got to be secure enough in yourselves to let us do it.
Ladies, let’s toast to ourselves more often. Let’s realize how incredible and awesome we are and though history may not give us credit on some things, we know there would not be a “his-tory” without a “her-story” first. So raise your glasses and repeat the words on the following meme.