I don’t know if you guys have gotten the memo yet, but there are a lot of really strong women in my life. I mean, I wouldn’t be this bad of a bitch if there wasn’t!!
This year, I spent most of International Women’s Day at work or napping my long shifts after work. But, I just love that day so damn much. Part of the reason why I chose my major, Political Science, was that it’s particularly dominated by men and that didn’t really sit right with me. I wanted to be part of a wave of a generation that changes the tides. I wanted Women’s Rights to become a top priority, income inequality to become a thing of the past, and reproductive rights to finally be given as the human right. I haven’t gotten overly political on this blog (yet!), but the time is coming folks!
Now, getting a B.A. in Political Science as a woman does not suddenly make me the feminist that everyone should strive to be. Absolutely not. Acknowledging a problem from the safety of a classroom or behind the screen of your Twitter does nothing. What am I actually doing to change the tides for women in politics?
I’ve grown up hearing about some pretty badass ladies. Sacajawea, Rosa Parks, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Malala, Eleanor Roosevelt, Frida Kahlo, Michelle Obama and so many more cultural, social, and political icons. These women changed the tides. These women woke up in the morning with a fire in their bellies to change something – so they did. They used their art, words, sports, education, or body to stand up to show the world a women that it previously had not seen. Here’s why a month of celebrating the women of the world is such a kicker for me: there was nothing that marked these women as “different” as they were born. As infants, they were not suddenly destined to change the world, they made it their purpose.
I know that sounds a little ridiculous. Getting up every day and saying that you’re going to change the world, right? We have to remember though, that it probably wasn’t their lifelong goal either. Rather, they saw something that they didn’t like. They saw someone being treated poorly. They saw injustice. Instead of watching, throwing their arms up, and assuming that they had no role in the change, they took charge.
You guys know that I haven’t always felt that way, nor have I wanted anything good to come out of my life. For a long time, I truly didn’t really care what happened around me. That’s just an honest and brutal truth of crippling depression.
So, International Women’s Day is about all that came before me. But, it’s also about all the ridiculously strong women that I know, love, and constantly surrounded by.
To my best friends, whose hearts are so open and loving for everyone around them. Most of them having gone through some serious shit, but still dealing with life with such grace and beauty. All of which with such a serious fire for their unique passions including nursing, writing, fashion, education, family, and so much more.
To the women of my family, who have taught me how to navigate this sometimes cruel world. They have picked me up after the nastiest of falls, dried my tears, and kept me going when all I wanted to do was fall. Not only me, but everyone in their lives. They have changed the lives of everyone around them simply for being in them.
And especially, to my mom. Who has made the life that I’m currently setting out to live possible? She is a woman that taught me never to be ashamed of my own voice, education, or body. At the end of the day, it’s her that I turn to when I don’t know what the proper dose of medicine is, or I don’t know how to handle professional situations. She is my biggest fan (I mean, my dad too but it’s about the women today) and I truly wouldn’t be here without her.
Lastly, to me. When everything in life seemed to be crashing down, you still did it. When those little thoughts told you that it would be better to just be done, you still did it. You graduated Magna Cum Laude with two Bachelor’s degrees, one of which in a field that doesn’t have a clear path for women. You’ve been published and paid for what you’ve written. People love your photos and you’ve captured so many memories to cherish for a lifetime. You’ve spoken in front of thousands of people. You’ve been a part of protests. You’ve worked your ass off. You have the world at your finger tips. Maybe you don’t feel an unbelievable surge to like go and end world hunger every time you get up in the morning, but for the first time, you’re doing something that actually matters. You did it.
I follow in the footsteps of those before me and those around me in the best ways I know how. With so much love in my heart for life, people, and this Earth. I walk forward with this urge to change something. Change someone. Not so that I can be one of the women you study, but so that I know that I fulfilled my purpose on this Earth.
On International Women’s Day, and everyday, I’m fucking proud to be a strong, independent, badass woman!