Sunday, March 9, 2014

The International Women's Day Hangover

Photo: Forbes Magazine
March 8th was International Women’s Day. I celebrated by surrounding myself with brilliant, strong courageous women who inspire me. From morning till night, I was in the company of estrogen-laced greatness. Yes I was giddy and uplifted by the love, encouragement, and beauty of these women. All day my facebook buddies were touting  how happy and PROUD they were to be women. Yay for us! I got caught up in it. You could say it was intoxicating.

And then comes the morning after, also known as… the hangover. And with it, the sober thoughts.

Yes, I love being a woman. Sometimes. And sometimes it just plain sucks.
How could I say such a thing? Because although I believe in the power of positive thinking,  I don’t want to be in denial about the hard truths. If we don’t acknowledge them, we can not change them.

So here is my list of womanly things that SUCK:

It sucks ….

That my ten-year-old son asked me the other day if it was really true that women are paid less than men and I still couldn't say, "No, honey. That was in the olden days."

That we are still fighting for control over our own reproductive rights.

That I’ve had to look over my shoulder all my life walking to my car or getting in an elevator because one in six US women are rape victims.

That my daughter has to carry pepper spray.

That women in so many parts of the world aren’t free, don’t have rights, are chased by the virtue police, have to wear burqas, are stoned to death for minor infractions that men get away with every day.

That 62 million girls are denied an education around the world:

That one in four women are victims of domestic violence.


Oh yeah….and since I’m feeling cranky, these things suck too:

That women are expected to be eternally thin and eternally young.

The various woman-specific cancers for which research is under-funded.

Bras and high heels.

Okay so I’m ranting. I’ll stop.

I’m just saying it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. We have to be better, fight harder, strive more than our counterparts. Here in the US, opportunity abounds and I can pursue any dream I want, but I’m still looking over my shoulder every time a new bill threatens my freedoms, every time a stranger walks behind me, every time I turn on the news and hear yet another report of a missing woman who happens to have a really suspicious creepy boyfriend, and I can never forget that women around the world are still oppressed.

Ever since Eve took the rap in Genesis, on some level we’ve been cowering, apologizing for our gender. We bought the lie, and forgot who we really are. I mean…think about it. We CREATE LIFE in our wombs! We are capable of connecting with others at deep soul levels. Our intuition is astounding. But in many ways we are still in that victim role. We haven’t yet stepped into our power, or as my friend Amy Ferris says, awakened to our greatness.

So yes, let’s celebrate, but not because the struggle is over. Let’s celebrate all that is good, the progress we’ve made, and the road ahead that we have yet to walk together. Let's celebrate awakening to our greatness.

I am proud to be a woman, proud of all we’ve come through and survived, proud to carry the suffragette spirit in my veins, proud of all the women I am honored to call my friends. And I will be proud to continue to stand up for women, everywhere, until we are equal, free, and safe all around the world.

Happy Hangover Day.