International Women's Day 2018: Let's Celebrate & Recharge
In an era of holidays for most inanimate objects—looking at you, #NationalHotDogDay—there’s a special day coming up I’d like to share with you: International Women’s Day.
Wondering why women get a whole day to themselves? The purpose of International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global celebration of the political, social, economic and cultural strides women have made throughout history. It’s also a day to reflect and recharge our efforts to increase gender parity throughout all industries.
And because #equality: International Men’s Day is on November 19 (and every other day of the year for all of history *sips tea*).
When I think about what our society has to celebrate on this IWD, recent movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp instantly come to mind. Think about this time last year: we had so many monsters running around in broad daylight and being praised for their successes. What a CHANGE we’ve seen in Hollywood and around the nation in the last year. What a ways we still have to go. As OG feminist Gloria Steinem once said, “Power can be taken, but not given. The process of the taking is empowerment in itself.”
I also think about how much my own female identity has changed in the last few years; it's inextricably related to how my fashion has evolved in that time. At 19, I thought “traditional” femininity triumphed over all other definitions—that you had to be one specific definition of “classy”, wear Lilly Pulitzer, channel the grace of Jackie O. at all times...you get the idea. I loved pink because that’s the color I thought demure girls were “supposed” to love.
Over time—and after many cringe-worthy Lilly Pulitzer shorts—I learned none of that stuff defines womanhood.
I found a pair of pink Docs and discovered I loved pink not because it made me feel dainty and demure...but because it made me feel strong.
I realized that all of the *~magic~* associated with womanhood lies in the woman’s right to choose. Today, we can choose to wear skirts or pants*. We can choose to love our careers or our families (or both!). We can choose to speak out—on our own time and when we feel most supported—against those who have hurt us. There is so much power waiting for us in the choices we make.
For all of my non-female identifying friends: what will you choose on International Women’s Day 2018? Will you advocate for other women? Will you stand by them as an ally, or even behind them when they can fight for themselves? Think about the situations you find yourself in with women; whether you’re at work/school/church/a Dungeons & Dragons meetup, how do your words and actions affect the women around you? If you’re not sure, ask. It never hurts to start an honest conversation about how you can be the best version of yourself.
If I could say anything to all women everywhere, it’d be this: know that you are powerful and never forget to shine your light on the power in others. It’s so easy to think that the table is only big enough for one of us when, in reality, we can get our own table and make it as big as we choose. And it will probably be from West Elm and have way cuter matching chairs. What I’m saying is this: you don’t have to subscribe to any archaic notion that equality is a zero-sum game. There is room for all of us at the table we create for ourselves.
Happy International Women's Day!
*Yep. There was a time when we couldn't wear pants.