Wednesday, March 8, 2017

A Woman's Place


I'm truly grateful beyond words for all of the amazing women in my life (and there are many). I come from a family of independent, intelligent, and deeply caring women who always encouraged me to take my own path, stand up for myself, and march to the beat of my own drummer. The women that surround me in my daily life offer me words of advice, make me roar with laughter, and remind me to breathe. 

I am uplifted by these women daily. I carry their passions and love and hopes and dreams in my heart. I strive to make them proud. Their confidence and bravery make me strong.

This year, today is also A Day Without a Woman

It's upsetting that we need this. It's upsetting that we need to go on strike in 2017 to communicate our value as human beings. It's infuriating to be constantly bombarded with messages and articles and commentary and unsolicited advice about how we should act. How we should look. How we should dress. We're told we're too fat, too skinny, we wear too much make-up, wear not enough. We're not confident, we're narcissistic, we're too feminine, we're too butch. We're sluts, we're prudes, we're not assertive, we're too bossy. 

"Cover up."
"Show a little skin."
"Asking for it."
"Give us a smile."
"Honey, you're evading my question."

We're told to hate our bodies, hate other women, hate ourselves. Be ashamed.

So today (and every day) we fight back. We recognize our contributions and our value. We strike from all labor (paid and unpaid). We don't make purchases (except to support local, woman-powered business). We wear red in solidarity. We educate. 

Today, my library is open. I am at work. I am here to serve, to be a resource to the community, to offer a safe place. I am dressed like Rosie the Riveter, proudly wearing a red bandanna. Yes we can. 

I am striving daily to be bold. To take up space. To speak up. To not back down. I am channeling the power and gathering strength from the women who have come before me. Who spoke out and stood their ground so that I could have a future of opportunities. Be bold for change.

"And where the words of women are crying to be heard, we must each of us recognize our responsibility to seek those words out, to read them and share them and examine them in their pertinence to our lives. That we not hide behind the mockeries of separations that have been imposed upon us and which so often we accept as our own...For we have been socialized to respect fear more than our own needs for language and definition, and while we wait in silence for that final luxury of fearlessness, the weight of that silence will choke us...for it is not difference which immobilizes us, but silence. And there are so many silences to be broken." 
 ::From "The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action," Audre Lorde

I'm proud of you. I stand by you. I support you. Always. 

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