You may be scratching your head that I, a self-professed non-feminist, would be celebrating this day. I have recently come to the realisation that while I personally don't need feminism, it seems many, many other women really do need it. They really don't believe themselves to be equal, they really don't question the inequalities or demand better for themselves. Until all women do this, I guess there is a need for feminism.
I am still an egalitarian, though, not a feminist.
I really like the message of the illustration above. It came along on my Facebook stream with the following blurb attached.
On International Women's Day, my hope for you is that you will ride in on your own white horse and rescue yourself.
Choose the parts of your career that are yours.
Choose what makes your soul sing.
Educate the people around you about what you will and won't do. The 'ditch this' list determines the quality of your life.
Put down the mop and bucket. You are not there to clean up everyone else's mess at work, at home and in your tribe.
You are not there to swoop on every passive-aggressive cry for help on Facebook and every emergency conceived from others' poor planning. Being brilliant at putting yourself last isn't being liked, it's being taken for granted.
Fuel your body and mind with the things that make you strong. Fit the oxygen mask to yourself first, and be clear-headed to help those who matter most to you.
Let go of other people's drama. Let them find their own oxygen and their own feet to stand on.
Let go of 'martyr' and 'excuses' and 'perfect'. Let go of 'nobody does this as well as I do'.
Let go of eyeing off other people's greener grass. Drop 'sorry' from the beginning of every second sentence. Roar 'no'.
Quit running from what you don't want. Stop climbing into bed wondering where the day went. Direct your day with vision and boundaries and assertiveness.
Live the life you want for the children in your life.
Tell yourself what you would whisper in their ears.
Love yourself the way you love them.
This is what I would want every woman to know today.
Be mistress of your life and own all your choices!
Women still seem to want to expect more of themselves than any man would expect of himself, and if there is a patriarchy, and if there are patriarchal constructs, then this would most certainly be one. It would be one of the worst constructs because it dooms women to failure even before they start.
I cannot believe there is still a debate of whether or not women can 'have it all'. Do men ever ask themselves if they can have it all? Do men have it all? Do they work, care for kids and tend house? Hell no!
Good men do what they can.
Lazy men rely on women believing they must strive to 'have it all' to be equal to men.
It is okay not to work.
It is okay not to have a perfect house.
It is okay to have a career.
It is okay not to get to every single event at your child's school.
It is okay to not manage having it all. Women are not goddesses, we do not have superhuman powers, we are not saints. Women are human beings who, when stretched too far, will fail.
It is okay to fail.
Men fail all the time.
So, on this International Women's Day, embrace failure! Embrace being a mere human! Embrace doing your best and still not having it all! Own your choices - they are valid, whatever they are!