I had never been involved with International Women’s Day before, in any capacity whether it be reading or watching about it or participating in an event.
I haven’t studied any feminist work.
And yet I have such a special place in my heart for all of the ‘at-home’ AND working women hustling so hard to go #nextlevel in their business and life.
For me, it’s mostly been an experiential understanding of what it means to be a constant juggling act as a woman. Explicitly trying NOT to strive to live up to society’s expectations of me as a daughter, a mother, a wife, a sister, a friend. But to be uniquely me about the way I live my life as a whole and loving human on this planet. Inevitably, I can sometimes end up striving nonetheless.
I have no theoretical expertise on this matter, so I won’t be relaying that powerful piece of wisdom from that famous feminist. I’m sure there’s an intricate theoretical, political and social debate going on right now, tackling this topic from all of its various angles, but I know nothing of the details. I speak only from my heart and what I believe to be true…
A ‘Power to Women’ sort of day
This year, my daughter Bella approached me and said “Mum, would you like to come with me to breakfast at school for International Womens Day at 7:30am on Wednesday – there will be a keynote speaker & you will love her!”
What a lovely gesture I thought, so there I found myself, sitting in amongst it all at breakfast yesterday. These were my thoughts…
It struck me as a ‘Power to Women’ sort of day. There is a lot in the media about womens rights and making all things equal in our world. The advertisements and media about being the first women to achieve a certain goal come to mind as well as the education around discrimination against women – I applaud those who take action to provide a voice for this perspective because I know that over time women have copped way more than their fair share in so many ways. I personally have tried to be a positive advocate for empowering women however, it also seems that for many it has gone a lot deeper than this view of providing equal opportunity and of unraveling unconscious discrimination and bias.
There are those who are strong campaigners of women’s rights, those who push to ensure that women have the same privileges as men and a slate, clean of sexism in all arenas. But there are also many initiatives that have attracted some mixed response such as the female pedestrian crossing lights that have recently been launched in Melbourne, Australia to address unconscious bias and stereotyping. Many, including some strong feminist groups have viewed this as a mockery, and the question has been raised ‘How far is too far?’
This brings me to those that think that focussing on people based on their gender is not the answer and that to truly view everyone as equal we should avoid gender based analysis altogether.
Times Have Changed!
Times have changed. I think it really is a matter of who we are as a people and where we are as a society today. This argument about feminism and gender equality would not have been the same last year, it would not have been the same 5 years ago, many parts of it would not have been relevant decades ago.
It’s about the change in society, the way that we have developed as a people (emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, physically) and the way that we have developed as a society (economically, technologically, environmentally). Every single aspect of the way that society has developed is impacting our views and opinions about male and female roles within the world. It has also unfortunately created unconscious discriminatory bias against women.
Gender Stereotypes Dissolving?
As time has past, jobs that were traditionally solely the responsibility of the female in previous generations, things such as household chores, raising children (the nuturing and caring aspects) are now not necessarily left just for the female to take care of. In addition, tasks, characteristics and aspects of life that were traditionally male dominated, things such as going out to work, providing food and shelter, being in the competitive environment (doing as opposed to being) are also no longer solely left to the male of the family to attend to.
It has become so little about gender and so much more about :
Natural skill sets
Team work amongst partners
Openness to new ideas
All of this fuelled by the fact that constantly developing technologies and shifts in our social & philosophical perspectives mean, that we now believe (and rightly so) that we can be, do and have whatever we want! Times have changed so much so that we now have partnerships, families & households run by two males or two females.
The Single Thing You Can Do To Make A Social Impact You’re Proud Of
I believe, it really all comes down to whether we as people on this planet are being true and whole. Are we in alignment, connected to who we truly are and are we acting in accordance with that alignment. That’s all that really matters!
When we are being true and whole: we automatically see everyone and everything as they really are. We see all things for the truth and love that they are made of. We remember that we are all one and all equal so we have no reason for bias, for prejudice or for judgement. Most importantly, it is the unconscious bias that magically melts away.
When we are being true and whole: we listen, we are attentive, we show care, we are open, we are receptive, we are collaborative, we are respectful, we are balanced and we are healthy.
Whether we ourselves are in fact male or female…
When we are true and whole: we balance our own masculine and feminine energies so that we resign from the competitive realm whilst being our strongest selves, we take down barriers whilst maintaining boundaries, we refrain from separation whilst being so wonderfully unique, we stop all judgements whilst confidently speaking our mind. We become nourished and we therefore nourish others.
When we are true and whole: we each take care of our own gardens and when we do this to the best of our ability, our partners, colleagues, friends, family members and community are given the best opportunity to do the same for themselves.
When we are true and whole: our female companions can no longer suffer in frustration at the nuances of being ‘her’ in this day and age
our male companions can no longer squander in silence about the intricacies of how being ‘him’ impacts her being ‘her’ in this day and age.
It’s a tough world out there sometimes.
Things change, people change, the world changes.
For many, the impacts of these changes are hard to handle.
The important questions remain “What is your social impact on the world?” “How are you taking responsibility?” “Are you helping to advance society in a way that makes you happy?” Ask yourself these questions and be inspired to be a better you today and tomorrow and the next day.
I certainly will.