Sunday, March 8th is International Women's Day and being a Woman-owned small business/collaboration, we wanted to celebrate at Our Creative Nest by compiling what this day means to each of us! Hope you spend this day celebrating the wonderful women in your life and that it brings awareness to the important role women play in the world!!
The first thought that comes to mind is "I am woman...hear me ROAR" but then I humbly take a step back to examine the significance of this day on an international level. I am probably going to lose some of you over this but I personally DO NOT believe that women and men are created EQUAL. I think we are very different but I also believe that those differences are worth CELEBRATING, not bashing. I think men and women can be EQUALLY good at things but overall, I just can't conform to this idea of EQUALITY...now, what I do STRONGLY believe in is EQUITY. Although we are not designed equal, I think everyone, whether male, female or nonbinary should be allowed the same opportunities and allowance to compete on a level playing field. This differentiation is the primary reason I don't consider myself a modern-day feminist. I went to internationalwomensday.com and all I saw was EQUALITY, equality, EQUALITY and frankly, I simply don't align with that message for reasons previously stated here (Equity is giving everyone what they need to succeed. Equality is treating everyone the same; equity aims to promote fairness, but it can only work if everyone starts from the same place and needs the same help).
But that doesn't mean this weekend (+everyday, for that matter) I am not celebrating women. I am absolutely reflecting on the women in my life, the woman I am growing daily to become and the representation of women that I leave for future generations, including a daughter of my own. I am not a man, nor would I ever prefer to be one. I am a strong, kind, fiercely protective, intelligent, equally soft + hard emotionally, rugged, sarcastic, joyful woman. I have served in the United States Navy and spent years training to be a Marriage + Family therapist to talk about feelings all day...and I loved both equally. I think women should be celebrated for their diverse and absolutely beautiful qualities today + every day. I am so thankful for the women in my life. My girlfriends from all parts of my life and the world are truly breathtaking (not simply because they're gorgeous on the outside). I am constantly learning from other women around me, whether they're older or younger than me (my sister is the perfect example of goodness + humility).
I am absolutely a proponent for women's rights and constantly speak up about equity any chance I get because it is important to me. I don't want anyone telling my daughter she can't do something "because she's a girl"...my parents BOTH taught us growing up to challenge that idea every single time. Someone tells you you're unable to do something, you work your butt off to make it happen if it's important enough to you. I think this passion to challenge and include is what International Women's Day is all about. I think as women we should encourage and celebrate EVERY woman and her life choices. You want be/love being a stay-at-home wife/mom/homemaker, right on sister, do YOU. You want to work full-time and schedule meal deliveries so you don't have to cook at the end of a long day, right on, do YOU. You want to have kids, you don't want to have kids, you want to be the boss, you like being a secretary, you love that your husband/partner is the financial provider for your house, you want to travel instead of settle down in one spot, you and your partner share household chores, you love to clean and nurture within your home?! You constantly strive to have and do it all, you are completely content where you are?! RIGHT ON SISTER, you do YOU!!!
I have been surrounded by strong, valiant women my whole life. My paternal grandfather passed away before I was born, so I only ever knew my grandma as the "provider". My Grandma Anne was born just a few days before it was legal for women to vote, a right she took very seriously. She and my grandpa raised 5 children on a working cattle ranch. They were involved in the community, my grandpa was a teacher and my grandma was so well-known for her cooking they never had to worry about finding decent help on the ranch. She had a garden so big, she could feed her family, the workers, and still have plenty left to can for the winter. My grandma and grandpa worked together side-by-side with their registered Hereford herd, even making the cover of an Oregon Cattleman magazine. She was windowed at 60, but wouldn't let the death of her husband hinder her place in the community and the life they had built together. My grandma started working for a logging outfit and won tree farmer of the year at age 73, and at the age of 80 was still cutting over a dozen cords of fire wood from her timber land. She also made over 100 quilts in her lifetime and was the first person to succesfully cross pollinate a wild peony and a domestic peony, a feat which could only be accomplished by a person in-tune with their flower garden. My grandma was the perfect balance of a strong, hardworking provider, and a flower-loving seamstress with the kindness only a grandma could provide to comfort a grandchild.
My maternal grandmother, my Nana, was also a trailblazer but in a different way. Born in Alaska before it was a state, she knew hardwork as well as any born that far north. After college she spent some time abroad and moved to Los Angeles as a teacher and raised three children on her own. My nana was a well-known and highly recognized educator for decades in the LAUSD. She was progressive and was able to teach independence but also community. She has touched so many lives who are still in contact with her today and it's always a proud moment for me when I meet a former student who gushes over what a wonderful teach my Nana was and the positive impact she made on so many lives. She too is involved with plants, but on a wider range... diversity has always been something she strives for and her craft bins were an inspiration. She was the person who taught me how to stitch and bind my own books! I learned from her what it means to be reliant on yourself, but also be a pillar of your community and to help others realize their potential.
With grandmothers like that, I never once thought I couldn't do something because I was female. If anything, I thought I had quite the advantage with that second x chromosome! But I'm also very proud of my feminine side, my soft heart... I am proud of who I am, and of what women have accomplished. I do feel we still have a ways to go with equity or justice, and I side with Ashley in not wanting to be "equal". I enjoy having doors opened for me, I do want to be paid the same amount of money, but only if I'm capable and doing the same work, and I don't want to be eligible for a military draft (I know these are only a brief touch on some serious issues). I am exercising my right to not have children, but by nature I am a nurturer with a servant's heart. The most important span of my life was doing end-of-life care for my paternal grandmother, and I can tell you it was the most rewarding period of my life. I must say though, hats off to all you moms out there who are crushing this parenting thing! And believe me, you are crushing it even if you don't think so.
Maybe it's because I like being the underdog, the sand bagger, the unexpected victor... but I'm fine if someone wants to underestimate my power because I'm a woman. Just gives me a bigger platform to step on while climbing the ladder of success. So in celebrating International Women's Day, I am celebrating the strength of women, and also the differences that make us unique. We need men and women, we need all kinds and types of people to be successful in our journey of life.. but I think it's safe to say women are the real powerhouses. Can I get a roar?!
We hope you are celebrating this International Women's Day with gusto! After all, Eleanor Rosevelt is famed for saying it best I think, "Well-behaved women rarely make history"!