The United Nations theme for International Women’s Day this year is, “Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives.”
I didn’t know until earlier today that the UN provides a theme every year for IWD. I’ve also only been aware of IWD for the last couple of years, and the same goes for Women’s History Month.
I found out a few years ago when my younger cousin baked brownies late one night. When I asked what the occasion was, she said, “Uhhhh, because it’s International Women’s Day.” This year, she didn’t bake brownies. She hosted an event at an art gallery inspired by #MeToo and Time’s Up.
There are a lot of women in my life who have made choices and are where they are because they reacted to the men around them. I am also one of those women. These women were my example, and so I conformed to it. Because that’s what you’re supposed to do…right?
My goal for 2018 is to react to myself. My wants. My goals. My desires. The development from my failures.
It’s been a struggle, for sure. But the effort is there all the same. And in pursuing what it is that I want out of life, I feel a reconnection with my soul. I feel a change in the energy of my personality and how that impacts myself and those around me. There is a change in the people I surround myself with and a change in the people I choose – and want – to support.
IWD has some different foundation stories across the globe – and its roots are from Socialist parties. In 1907, about 15,000 women marched through NYC. They marched for shorter hours, suffrage, and in memoriam of police brutality against a women worker demonstration in 1857.
(A side note about the police brutality in 1857 – after researching through different sites, there is a chance the demonstration in 1857 didn’t actually happen. The theory is this moment in history is a fabrication to take away the establishment of women’s marches via Socialist roots. Something thrown into the mix during the Cold War.)
In Russia 1917, IWD became a holiday after women gained suffrage. It was heavily celebrated by socialist movements and communist countries.
1975, this was adopted by United Nations and became a global sensation.
The goal for me, for today, was to have a better understanding of how IWD came to be. There are three women who’ve always held a special place in my heart and mind. From their actions, their lives – the relatable circumstances of what they’ve been through even though they were all deceased decades before I was born. They’re a personal inspiration:
Charlotte Perkins Gilman – Shirley Jackson – Eleanor Roosevelt
There is a profound sadness to me when I learn about the big scary world. Especially as I exit my twenties, I’m disappointed that I didn’t know. I’m disappointed that I didn’t seek more information out. I’m disappointed that I don’t stand up for myself as often as I should. Seeing Time’s Up and #MeToo movements hurt so much because I know and I’ve been there and it all just sucks. And yet I’ve sat quietly and thought to myself how uncomfortable I’ve been, or feel that I’ve failed somehow because I’m not enjoying myself and wonder what’s wrong with me and how am I not contributing to society correctly – and then it causes this stirring pot of depression and anxiety, and it’s so hard to function in society when you are depressed and anxious about being part of society, and society doesn’t want to be part of you – and there is this vicious fucking cycle that is absolutely so hard to break because of the silence you bear.
Silence is a hard habit to break. But silence does not mean there is a lack of strength, knowledge, independence, or sense of community. Silence is a calm before the storm. Silence is patient as thoughts collect themselves to become the perfect action to leap forward. Silence is not a friend, but a teacher. And that took a long time to learn.
The disappointment in myself dies off the more aware I become, the more I involve myself to understand and learn and continue to grow. The disappointment has started to evolve away from blaming myself and shift into holding others accountable.
All I need to do is speak.
Picture shown are the brownies that started it all a few years ago.