Today is International Women’s Day. I have thought long and hard about what I want to write about today… The topics to choose from are endless, indeed the theme for this year is ‘equality for women is progress for all’. And this ties in beautifully with an inspirational Ted talk I watched yesterday, in which Jackson Katz speaks about how women’s issues are not just women’s – they are issues for all of us, both men and women. Whether the discussion is about race, sexual orientation or gender, the focus always seems to be on the less dominant group. Yet, in reality, this will not combat the cause, but only help heal what has already occurred. To solve the problem, any problem, we need to start at the root. It’s a great talk and I really recommend giving it a watch.
Anyhow, what I want to write about instead today is a celebration of ourselves. This is something that I notice a vast difference in between my male and female friends. Men, on the whole, are pretty good at acknowledging their achievements, being able to say ‘yeah, you know what, I did great’, and we accept it. As we rightly should. There is no judgement, no criticism. Yes, they might sometimes get called a bit cocky or perhaps slightly arrogant but generally that isn’t such a bad thing.
Women, on the other hand, are not so good. I know this is something I’ve struggled with in recent years – I mean, give myself a compliment? Really? If asked to name something positive about themselves, chances are a woman will say something along the lines of ‘oh well, I guess my legs are okay but I hate my stomach’. There is always that but, that negative addition, because who wants to be thought of as full of themselves?
Well you know what? Sod it. Be proud of your achievements. Don’t be afraid to speak up and shout them loud – it might just get you places you never imagined – a new career path, a change of viewpoint, spark a different conversation, or simply encourage someone to do the same.
So today, celebrate what you have achieved in your life, and say it proud.
There’s a great quote from that Ted talk “This is not a battle against the sexes. We live in the world together.” So whatever gender you are, whether you are ‘cocky’ or ‘modest’ use today to be proud of yourselves, cos I’m sure you’re doing pretty darn great.
What will you celebrate today? What are you proud of?