In honor of International Women’s Day, I find it only right that I acknowledge my fellow amazing women out in the world. Formerly known as International Working Women’s Day and celebrated annually on March 8th, the day was put in place to commemorate the Women’s Rights Movement. If we were to give out awards simply based off the pure excellence of a woman, my mother would be standing on the highest pedestal. Call me biased, but she embodies the total essence of what womanhood represents. Strength. Strength she was born with. Strength polished by adversity. Strength you only acquire by battling the most fierce of opponents and coming out on top. Resilience. My mother is the queen of the bounce back. Illness, tragedy, loss; yet forward she moves. Forgiveness. Patience. I could go on and on but I don’t want to make anyone jealous. I can only hope that she has passed some of her magic down to me. What would the world be without women? We provide this cold, daunting world with the grace it needs to thrive. We are nurturing, carry and bear the children, brilliant, witty, resourceful, persistent, gentle, and compassionate; the rib of the mankind. What makes women even more incredible is that we thrive in a world where we are viewed as 2nd rate, yet we do not lose the qualities that make us uniquely feminine.
In America as many of you hopefully know, women are paid less to do the same job as a man although she has equivalent or even higher experience and qualifications. Many prestigious companies tend to shy away from hiring women with families because she is automatically assumed to have too many distractions to take her job seriously. Women in America receive some of the worst maternity leave benefits in the world, putting pressure on a working mother to leave her kids in the care of others so that she can resume her job in order to help provide. A woman in the workplace with firm opinions and views is known as the bitch of the office. If she has a bad day it must be “pms.” Young women in college must be hyper vigilant in regards to their safety in an effort to not become the next rape victim who is blamed for her own sexual assault. Young girls in school do not receive as much attention as the boys in their classes, and are not encouraged to pursue careers in sciences and technology. Male politicians have taken it upon themselves to decide what rights women have to their own bodies. Men find it appropriate to regulate a sector of healthcare that has nothing to do with them. They do not get pregnant, yet somehow it is their responsibility to decide how/who has rights to birth control and abortion. Women of color and LGBTQ women suffer from a lack of inclusion when it comes to women’s rights and have been consistently left out from the majority of women’s rights movements in America.
As a Black woman, it is important to realize that our walk towards gender equality has been hindered by our fight for racial justice. Intersectionality is a concept that is hard to grasp unless you endure it. Being forced to endure racism and sexism is exhausting, and when you realize you face racism within feminism, you become doubly exhausted. Which fight do you fight first? Do you put womanhood ahead of your people as a whole? I believe Black women and other women of color inevitably end up fighting these demons simultaneously which is not a surprise; women are the best multi-taskers alive. I will not travel too far down the intersectionality rabbit hole today; I have many thoughts on that subject that I will share for another quite soon on a separate post. On this day, I just simply wanted to give a short and sweet shout out to my fellow ladies who defy the odds daily. Thank your lucky stars for us, boys. You would be lost otherwise.