Today is International Women’s Day and with certain countries in the world going backwards a few decades and some not even progressing at all, we need this day more than ever.
For a long time, when I didn’t fully understand the term feminism, I didn’t consider myself a feminist but times have changed. Back then because I supported traditional values such as being the stay at home mum, doing the cooking and cleaning while the man works but then I realised that that didn’t stop me from being a feminist. Being a feminist means having the right to choose what sort of a life I live without any discrimination. In fact the true definition feminism is about wanting equal rights and opportunities for women. Did you know that in 2017 women are still being paid less for doing the same jobs as men? That their menstruation cycle is still blamed if a woman shows emotion? I might want traditional values for myself but I don’t want my daughter growing up in a world where she will be paid less than her cousin, where her hormones, something she cannot control, is blamed if she has heightened emotions. Where in certain countries she doesn’t have the right to make choices to do with her own body. We need International Women’s Day, for ourselves but more for our daughters, who in 2017, instead of the world moving forward in terms of equality, it appears to be moving backwards. It’s time to level the playing field, it’s time to conquer the divide.
In the spirit of International Women’s Day, here are some inspirational women I am lucky enough to have in my life. Here’s to strong women…
May we know them.
I am so lucky to have so many inspirational women in my life. Women I know in person and I know online. Who support me, who encourage me and who inspire me every day to be a better version of myself. My Mother, the kindest and most gracious woman I’ve ever met. She always believes in the best of me and only wants me to be happy. My mum has never once judged any decisions I’ve made, in fact, she encourages me to be whatever I wanted to be and to do whatever it takes to make myself happy. Her parenting is what has pushed me to be the best mother I can possible be. I am so incredibly lucky to have such an amazing woman as my mother. She’s made me into the person I am today. She is strong and she is inspirational. My Nanny, she lost my Grandfather two years past January and we honestly didn’t know if she would survive without him. She was with him for the better part of 60 years, he was her reason for living but here she is. She’s a changed women and she is living without him. She loves him, she misses him and she’s broken but she pieced herself together in a new way. She is a survivor. My Grandpa would be so proud of her. Of her independence, the fact she’s smiling and she’s laughing again. She is the epitome of strength. My sister Erin, she’s battled mental health issues since her teens but this last year I’ve seen her finally (over 10 years of battling) rise from the ashes. I don’t agree with everything she does but our relationship is the best it’s been since we were little kids. I’m so proud that she can finally see herself as she is and I hope she continues to go from strength to strength. I’m happy she can finally see that she doesn’t need a man for validation.
My best friend Bee, has been the most influential person in my life for the last 12 years. My mum may have helped me grow but Bee helped me grow up. Most people are lucky enough to have a best friend, but I’m lucky enough to have had someone who is more like a sister. Who can tell me when I’m wrong, when I need to pull myself together and who is there for me when times are tough. She’s an amazing mother and has set the best example for her daughters by quitting her job and finally forging a business doing something she loves (and is amazing at). My friend Jess, who will always be the Serena to my Blair. Every time she’s unhappy she finds a way to make her own happiness, be that in a job, where she lives or with men. She always has my back when I’m struggling with guys. She’s always there to listen and tell me how much of a dick they are. But most importantly, she has always been my mirror, telling me how good I look even when I don’t see it myself.
I’m incredibly lucky to have so many inspirational and strong women to count as my friends. Who are there as shining examples for my daughter. I couldn’t possibly name them all here, but I hope they all know each day they’re fighting to make the world a better place to be female in.
May we be them.
For a long time I would have never counted myself as a strong person. I’m emotional, I cry a lot and I’m a people pleaser but since becoming a parent I know I’m a lot stronger than I look. I spent 4 years working on myself after what happened with my daughter’s father. Then just as I was feeling ready to let someone in, 9 months later it ended in heart ache again and although it’s been tough it’s made me stronger. I may have traditional values. I may want to raise my daughter and be there to pick her up from school every single day but those traditional values have made me carve my own way. Find a job that allows me to do this, work hard during any free time I have meaning when she’s around I have all the time in the world to help her grow and learn. I’ve taken her to Florida on my own 4 times, to Paris 4 times. I have given her a childhood of magic and memories. I’ve built us a home. I did all this by myself. I have brought her up by myself. And if that doesn’t make me a strong person, I don’t know what does.
May we raise them.
I am raising a strong girl. She is a girl. She likes princesses and tea parties and pink and tulle. But it’s her CHOICE to like them. I would love her even if she didn’t suck at sport or hated dolls. I will love her if she loves girls and not boys. I will love her if she gets pregnant at 16 and decides to have an abortion. Or if she decides she doesn’t want to go to university. I will love her if she wants to be a mechanic. I will support every single choice she makes in her life and I will encourage her to make those choices herself. I will fight so she can have the same choices as men and I will teach her to fight too. I will teach her to be strong and brave. I will teach her to speak her mind and stand her ground. I am raising the new generation and I’m raising her to know that it’s okay to be herself, to be whatever it is she wants to be. She is my strength and I want her to know she has that strength in her too. I don’t want her to ever be afraid of speaking out for what she believes in. I want her to grow up wanting to make the world a better place. But most of all, I just want her to be happy. She has the right to that happiness and I want her to be strong enough to make that happy. She is the most inspirational and wonderful person I know and I feel such a sense of pride in myself knowing I am the one raising her.