Well, it’s international women’s day so I thought what better day to celebrate being a woman! Easier said than done for me as I recover from surgery that saw most of my women’s bits removed (I had to have a hysterectomy ten days ago). But my father in law gets squeamish when I go into the details so I won’t do that today.
Here a few things I love about being a woman...
1 – The ability to create life (well, before the surgery). Yes I know we still need a man but nothing made me feel more feminine than having babies. It is the right of women everywhere who want to, to experience how it feels to be kicked from the inside, to nourish your child at your breast and to know you are the bomb to a couple of little people.
2 – My girlfriends make me feel blessed to be a woman. We talk about everything and anything, they are there for me the same way I’m there for them and guys just don’t get that.
3 – Dresses. I would look funny wearing them if I had equipment and facial hair (no offense to drag queens or transsexuals). Dresses are so fun and feminine and comfortable.
But seriously, the point of international women’s day is, ‘International Women's Day is celebrated across the world on March 8th each year. The day is about celebrating the vital role women play in enhancing economic security for their families, communities and countries as a whole while recognising that significant barriers to achieving women's economic security and equality continue to exist.’
I’ve been working since I was fourteen and earning my way in the world even before that. I’ve studied and grown as all women should have the right to do. Apart from maternity leave after I had the kids, I’ve never been unemployed or bitten by the i-don’t-want-to-work bug. Just as we have the right to learn, work, and play, we also have an obligation to contribute to society. This starts by being the best mums we can. I know that sounds strange and for those who don’t have kids, you can still help with your friend’s and family’s girls.
My girls are only 4 and 6 years old but already I foster in them a sense that they can be whoever they want to be. I tell them they can be doctors, lawyers, veterinarians, teachers, or checkout chicks. When they get a little bit older, I’ll teach them the importance of each of these roles in society, I’ll show them what they can do to change the world. After that, I’ll try to give them empowerment to make sure they achieve all they set out to. It starts with self confidence. It starts with raising them up rather than putting them down.
Which brings me to the mothers and fathers of boys. Please raise them to be against the objectification of women. Raise them to be respectful and courteous, to treat the girls around them as though they talked and walked with their mothers. If each and every one of us start here, we can begin to change the world. If the men in the highest places stopped seeing us as manic for twelve weeks of the year and only half insane for the rest, we may get picked for top jobs. Two hundred years ago men saw women as heir carrying vessels and the attitude continues in every bare foot, pregnant and chained to the kitchen sink joke told today.
If they stopped seeing us as the weaker or fairer sex, we may earn as much as they do because they would see just how strong we are. When one of our women get through and hold an element of power, then we can look to the bigger picture.
Eradicate the slavery of girls for sex. Ban underage marriage in third world countries. Teach those men that their women should be schooled, should be given rights. I certainly haven’t seen Julia Gillard step up to exercise any women’s rights. Abortion, adoption, equal pay and jobs. The last huge fight I remember (before paid maternity leave) was if there should be GST on tampons and hygiene products.
A woman I have a lot of respect for is Oprah. She gave so much to women, in America and Africa and so many countries and circumstances around the world. If we all took a leaf out of Oprah’s book, we’d be on the right track... Another very important woman I love is my mum for giving me confidence. For showing me that women are strong and very capable! For doing a man's job in a man's world and giving them hell along the way.