Gosh, I love International Women’s Day. As far as totally made up, mostly uncelebrated holidays go, this is my favorite. Right next to Donut Day and National Puppy Day. But as with puppies and donuts, Women’s Day is my favorite because more people should freaking better appreciate what it is to be a woman! Shout it from the rooftops, ladies, because we deserve to be celebrated for merely agreeing to exist in this world because holy hell did we draw the short stick.
To avoid triggering all the white boys in the room with a word like “privilege,” let’s just say there can be a certain lack of empathy or understanding or respect when non-women deign to acknowledge what it is to be women. So for all those fellas (#notallmen) let me lay it out there: it’s pretty hard.
Periods. Birth control. Cramps. Sex. Birth. Not being trusted to open cans of sauce on our own.
And then there are all the social/economical/political hardships like, idk…men being the ones to write policy directly effecting women, the wage gap, the glass ceiling, the overt sexism, the benevolent sexism, the fact that women are underrepresented in almost every field and that women trying to make it in those fields face socioeconomic disparities like the wage gap, the glass ceiling, the overt sexism, the benevolent sexism, etc. etc. etc.
It is not a fair world we live in.
Case #1: JT and Janet Jackson and the “nipplegate” of 2004. They’re both complicit adults, but Janet takes the fall and is basically shamed out of the spotlight for having breasts; JT catapults to a whole new level of fame–one that led him to do Trolls. (So who’s the real victim here?)
Case #2: Casey Affleck is a well-documented manbaby who sexually harassed multiple women. They were silenced; he won an Oscar.
Case #3: Every female celebrity ever to have nude photos leaked has to apologize for being such a bad influence. Meanwhile, a man caught gloating about grabbing women by the pussy became president.
Being a woman is, well, in the voice of Jean Ralphio, the woooOooooOOoorst. In so many ways.
But call me a glutton for punishment or maybe a bit of a masochist because I freaking love it. I mean, I hate it and things have to change. But I love women, I love being a woman–probably because I love a good underdog story. And women, currently and historically, are killing it. Slyly, secretly, loudly, boldly–we’re taking over the world. International Women’s Day? More like BADASSES UNITE.
I know there was a lot of ~controversy~ around the women’s march (idk) and I know a lot of people were upset about [INSERT ANY STORY ABOUT A WOMAN WITH AN OPINION HERE]. But women will not be silenced. Women will not be stopped. After all, we’re more than half the earth’s population and idk but majority rules.
Are we still struggling to define the word feminism so everyone can be happy? Yes! Are people still offended by boobs in absolutely any context? Always! Are political policies and social constructs and media outlets inherently and sometimes helplessly a little sexist? Definitely maybe! But are women backing down? Hells nah!
So yay for women and yay for International Women’s Day. Here’s to all the badasses I know. From the problematic (Taylor Swift, meet Kim Kardashian) to the political (hello, Michelle Obama); the rebellious (Rosa Parks, anyone?) to the fearless (I wish I was Malala); the forgotten (thanks, Hidden Figures!) to the infamous (Cleopatra deserves more raps about her imho); the well-knowns (Mother Theresa) and the ones just getting started (Yara Shahidi is #goals).
Certain people don’t want to admit it, but women have been bosses since forever. They’ve been bitches, saints, prudes, and sluts. They’ve been smart and cocky, talented and vain. Pushy. Bossy. Unrelenting. Demure. Quiet. Polite. Ballsy. Angry. Happy. Thrilled. Depressed. Broken. Flawed. Complicated. Irreverent. Beautiful. Bright. Irritating. Unfocused. Obsessed. Unapologetic. The beauty of humanity is in the differences, the distinctions. And *NEWS FLASH* that applies to women, too.
So I’m grateful for the examples we can all reflect on on this day. I’m glad I can know more about women who for so long have been misrepresented for whatever reason (seriously, Cleopatra deserves a TV show). And I’m mostly glad for all the women in my life who have proven again and again how awesome it is — in spite of all the unawesomeness that comes along with it — to be a woman. I’m lucky enough to have a family made up of strong, inspiring women and I’m even more lucky to have so many friends fanning that same female-empowerment fire.
Cait, Melissa, Abbey, Laura, Mom. Even Georgie and Scout, the most bodacious babes around. Lydia, Nat, Kate, Michelle, Jamie. You are my people. I love you all like love songs. And I know this is like an Oscar speech where I’m totally forgetting someone, so here’s to every woman I’ve ever come in contact with ever in the history of time because props to you for handling it. It ain’t easy but, hey, at least we have today.