March is Women’s History Month. But in all honesty, it hits very different than Black History Month does. Maybe because women make up 50% of the world’s population….so it’s not like our experiences and perspectives are isolated. Our current situation is almost all from social engineering. I’ve said in the past how I don’t embrace the feminist label — but that isn’t because I am apologetic about being a woman. Being a woman brings with it extraordinary privileges and gifts.
But we need to not lose sight of the ongoing struggles that women go through daily. Whether it is body image, or pay inequality, or just good old fashioned gaslighting where our opinions and feelings are sidelined by default. We need to love ourselves — in when society, and unfortunately all too often men, do not.
This morning, I was thinking back at my own life. There have been far more women who offered encouragement and support to me than men. In fact, it was a woman who gave me my very first professional work role. At the time, I was a college dropout and very aimless in regards to what my future should be. Even so, she recognized that I had potential. She offered mentorship and support. It was a critical period and was key in regards to giving me a sense of confidence in my abilities.
One of my dreams is to be able to mentor another young woman in a similar way. I am a mom to 3 boys, so it would need to be someone who is not my own child. But that is fine. In fact, it is often more effective when the support comes from outside of your own family (in that it doesn’t get bundled up with the deep and often complicated dynamics of family relationships). Young women especially need to understand that the love that you have for yourself is more important than the love that comes from others — including romantic partners.
Woman (not ‘Girl’) Power
And finally, women (and those who love women) need to recognize the deep ageism that comes along with being a woman. Trust me, as a single woman in her 40s, this slaps me in the face constantly. It is like our worth plummets as soon as we pass our prime reproductive years. So many women are obsessed with doing whatever they can to not look their age (or at least look old). We pour an unbelievable amount of money into beauty treatments and procedures to achieve this end. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with looking attractive. But you also need to be honest and examine who exactly is setting the standard in regards to what is attractive and what is not?
Women have longer life expectancies than men for a reason. We are cultivators. Our wisdom and experience is priceless. Men may hold the image of “girls” to be the ideal. But girls do not sustain civilizations. Only women do. Let’s celebrate and recognize that 🙂