Happy International Women’s Day 2018
When I was younger I vowed that I wouldn’t have children because I was terrified of the world they would inherit. Reading ‘Z for Zacharia’ at 12 years of age pretty much sealed the deal..but that body clock ticks on….
Bringing us to 2018, I’m 43 years of age and we are bringing up 2 daughters (and 4 sons). Navigating our way, parenting them the best way we know how. Instilling in them respect for women, respect for themselves. It is astounding how many subtle gender stereotypes are ingrained in us. I find myself having to correct my language more often than I am comfortable admitting. The stereotyping is just ‘there’…. and I’m shocked because I feel like I am Feminist AF and I know Jon feels he is too. Everyday stereotypes are gently corrected and the girls of the house are always served first. Old fashioned perhaps yes but on second thoughts it goes some way to reverse the cultural expectations. And seriously, Women should be Revered (birthing a baby like it’s no big thang anyone?!)
It’s not all doom and gloom of course. There are so many wonderful opportunities for young girls and women today, even more than us Gen X’s ever had. As parents we are bringing back a sense of community, of tribe and the confirmation that it DOES take a village to raise a child.
Yet there is still such a way to go. When women are represented as the 50% of the population that they are. When women are welcomed and invited to sit at the table, to make the decisions that affect them and their families, their children. If more women were running our countries I see a more peaceful and collaborative way of governing. Equal respect and admiration for BOTH sexes. An easy peace.
I welcome a time when we don’t have to think about the gender pay gap or if this next Tinder date is safe to go on because the date has not been taught about respect or consent. No sense of dread for our daughters when they are in a room or an elevator filled with men. How we will arm ourselves with our car keys and mobile phone walking back to our car after dark. And that’s in a relatively safe country like Australia. I shudder to think of the daily abuse and shocking fear women endure in developing countries, war-torn countries, devoutly, extremely religious countries. But endure they do and you don’t hear much about it. Certainly you would hear a lot more about it if were men being suppressed, raped and tortured.
And though it scares me (who in their right mind gave me these 2 beauties to shepherd into womanhood?!) I remind myself the best thing I can do is be the woman I want them to be; to inspire our girls, encourage them to follow their dreams, to seek their own path and life filled with adventure. Along the way (and after much wild adventure) I do hope that if they want a life companion that they seek until they find a partner to share their vision, a soul mate who respects and reveres them the way they deserve. You can be sure that we will help guide them, to give them the confidence and self-love and self-worth that sees them happy in their own company, to not settle for anything less than a soul connection, for mutual respect and peace. If nothing else they will have that Life Lesson hard earned wisdom from both of us.
I get sick of hearing that Feminism is akin to man hating. A quote that I read today and love is: ‘Feminism is the radical idea that a woman’s safety is more important than a man’s feelings’. It is galling to think that by standing up for ourselves, our children, to stand on the same stage as men, is seen as greedy, as ungrateful and as aggressive and hateful. No fellas, it’s not an affront to your manhood.
I’ve read so many inspiring quotes on social media today. Listened to Podcasts and marvelled at gorgeous, clever, witty illustrations and memes created by women. I am so proud to be a woman! I have the most wonderful tribe of women friends and over the years we have had countless conversations that DESPITE all the inequality none of us would give up being a WOMAN for ANYTHING. I mean seriously, can you imagine NOT giving BIRTH to your babies?
Never quite as eloquent as I hope – ever so hesitant to spout my Feminist Thoughts (yeah, we have those) ….but so proud to be a female and so proud to be raising a couple of gorgeous, clever, strong and brave young women and men. Wishing you all a wonderful International Womens Day 2018. Big Love, B
If you don’t already, go ahead and follow these inspiring Feminists:
‘Feminism is equality: politically, culturally, socially and economically. It is that simple’
‘Feminism is the radical idea that a woman’s safety is more important than a man’s feelings’
“Girls just wanna have fun…damental human rights!”