So I’m rocking my cool red pants today. It was the only choice I had after my husband showed up in the kitchen this morning donning a red shirt, unprompted. He went to work, and so did I. I work for a woman, and for myself, so I suppose I could have taken the day off. But I’m blessed with career opportunities that are fulfilling.
I am grateful to be a woman in America. Even right now, today, in this tumultuous political climate. In November we witnessed a woman seriously considered for the presidency. And in May I will watch my first of two daughters graduate with a 4 year degree, the first generation in my family to do so. And I have no doubt that in 2 years, I will watch my second daughter do the same.
I am aware that women in many other countries are dealing with unrelenting poverty as well as restrictions and abuse. Yes, I am proud to be an American woman, despite its challenges. It also brings great possibilities.
I know some folks will get bent out of shape because it’s another event that simply draws attention to women, and there’s been a lot of that lately. I know there’s a lot of pissyness about feminism and its extremes. I do not wish to get ahead of men, to be better, stronger or paid more. I just want to be acknowledged for my worth, like any other human being.
Modern women aren’t the only women being acknowledged here, however. What about your mother, your aunts, your grandmothers and great grandmothers? The memories you have of their strength, patience and love? The women who were brave enough to get on boats, with or without the men in their lives, and go to an unknown territory that has provided the life you now live. So shout out to my Grandma Gigi, who always had a sweet treat in her purse, even when she was low on cash. And to my Grandma Bessie, who taught me the tradition of cooking for family, and never to trust another driver’s directional until they follow through. To both of my great grams, who jumped the pond from Poland and Ireland. And to my mother who blessed me with the genes for good business and financial sense.
Here’s the thing. We all need to honor our true selves and those who have supported our endeavors. To take credit and accept accolades for our accomplishments. I know for myself, I am so caught up making sure those around me are being noticed and encouraged, I slip under my own radar. I forget how I have persevered. I get distracted from my abilities that have resulted in not just surviving life’s challenges, but thriving. And when we truly, wholly honor ourselves, we can honor those around us, including the men in our lives.
We can appreciate them not for their gender, but for their support. Not for being breadwinners but as partners in making a solid and welcoming home for those we love. At least half of my friends throughout my life have been men. I was raised by my Dad, a man who taught me how to be a decent human being. He broke the gender barrier and filled both parenting roles for me, teaching me to treat people by their humanity instead of by gender stereotypes and ingrained “social norms.”
So I celebrate today to honor myself, the wonderful women in my circle, women in other places who cannot freely celebrate their womanhood. And I celebrate the loving men in my life who have helped me become the woman I am. Namaste.