Thank You, Mister PresidentFriday, August 26, 2016
Maybe you didn't hear that today is now a very special day? Today the president issued an official proclamation declaring August 26th as Women's Equality Day. He has called upon the people of the United States to celebrate the achievements of women and promote gender equality.
It's the year 2016.
Goodness sakes, it takes us a terribly long time to grow, doesn't it? From the Suffragette movement of the 1800's to an official day celebrating women and equality. That's a long span of time.
I've never considered myself a feminist. I guess that's probably because I have spent 34 years of my life wanting to please everyone around me, make them proud of who I am. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I had the distinct impression that I could not do this while being "pro-women" or stand on feminist principals. No one really likes feminists, do they? The word is somewhat of a dirty word. It makes people think of women that hate men, refuse to wear bras and shave their legs. They are strong, opinionated and loud women.
Well, the latter is me. Whoops.
Try as I might to please everyone around me, I always screwed it up. Since I was little, I would stand up with tears in my eyes and defend someone with a depth of passion that left me trembling. I didn't just defend people though, I also defended my ideas and my thoughts. I always felt rather ridiculous for it; I knew I was a joke in other people's eyes.
Now here I am. I'm 34 years old and still burning with a depth of emotion and passion and ideas and thoughts. I never did figure out how to keep it all locked up in a box. I've been making all the waves, all the messes, and getting my family and I somewhat kicked out of all the establishments. We can't last long...because Gia is emotional. She's stubborn. She's bull-headed.
Yep. I am.
And I love it.
I am growing into a feminist.
And that's okay.
I read this today in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's "We Should All Be Feminists" and I would like to share this small excerpt:
So in a literal way, men rule the world. This made sense--a thousand years ago. Because human beings lived then in a world in which physical strength was the most important attribute for survival; the physically stronger person was more likely to lead. And men in general are physically stronger. (There are of course many exceptions.) Today, we live in a vastly different world. The person more qualified to lead is not the physically stronger person. It is the more intelligent, the more knowledgeable, the more creative, more innovative. And there are no hormones for those attributes. A man is as likely as a woman to be intelligent, innovative, creative. We have evolved. But our ideas of gender have not evolved much.
Roger has been the queen feminist in our home. He is the one that has gently directed me to move in whichever direction I want, say what I want, do what I want, be who I want to be. He makes sure that I don't feel the need to apologize for being who I am: passionate and full of emotions. If anything, he has shown me how these things make me unique, strong and irreplaceable. How funny that it has been him to help me be okay with being a feminist.
We are a team.
We are hand-in-hand.
We are equally needed in each others lives.
And if anything, Roger hasn't just allowed me to stand as an equal beside him, but has very much lifted me higher--giving me a place of honor.
Today I learned about the president's proclamation through my husband. I am pleased that he finds such beauty and honor and respect in highlighting women. I am pleased that we get to celebrate this day together as a feminist husband and wife team, raising three strong feminist as well.
What an adventure!
"Nearly one century ago, with boundless courage and relentless commitment, dedicated women who had marched, advocated, and organized for the right to cast a vote finally saw their efforts rewarded on August 26, 1920, when the 19th Amendment was certified and the right to vote was secured. In the decades that followed, that precious right has bolstered generations of women and empowered them to stand up, speak out, and steer the country they love in a more equal direction. Today, as we celebrate the anniversary of this hard-won achievement and pay tribute to the trailblazers and suffragists who moved us closer to a more just and prosperous future, we resolve to protect this constitutional right and pledge to continue fighting for equality for women and girls."
~President Obama, August 26, 2016