Today is International Women's Day. One day where all women get to be proud to be a women, where it is ok to brag about that job, that raise, that family, and all the accomplishments. One day, 24 hours, it seems like people forget or choose to not acknowledge that women do AMAZING things everyday. This past year we've seen such great accomplishments, first female coaches in male sports, the USA Soccer team taking on wage issues, our countries Vice President is a women and I am going to ask you to put aside any political affiliation or feelings about individual women and just sit with the fact that our country has taken 245 years to allow a women in that position. It blows my mind how women can do so much and yet be taken advantage of so easily. We are considered weaker, we are considered not as smart, and not as useful, and yet...we are the reason the population is even a thing, we are some of the smartest people in business-Irene Rosenfeld, CEO Kraft Foods Inc, in government-Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Lawyer and justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, in sports-Serena Williams, multiple championships including more than 23 Grand Slams in tennis, and in Science-Barbara Askins-Physical Chemistry, named inventor of the year in 1978 by AAII*, the first women to do so. The list can go on and on, I picked names that were substantial to make my point.
I have four daughters and I do not believe they are weaker, lesser, or uncapable of more than any man, and it is my job to show them that. It should be everyone's job to allow them room to grow, but men and women alike in this world do not like to see a strong women, do not like to acknowledge that women could do it better, can do it smarter, and that we do not need a man to explain it to us. I do not understand where the idea comes from that women can't or shouldn't do things. Why is it that when a man accomplishes something it immediately becomes more than when a women accomplishes the same thing, but she did it quicker?
In the culinary world it is a known fact that women have a harder time being taken seriously, harder time getting a job, and are constantly quitting or being fired because they do not bend to the male ego or sexual assault dealt them on a daily basis, and yet one of the funniest jokes to most men is "The kitchen is the women's place". Of course men don't mean the professional kitchen, they mean the home kitchen, because women don't belong in a professional kitchen women couldn't possible be able to handle the pressure, the "heat", the demand that a high class kitchen demands of you. Of course yet again I state, without women carrying these high quality men for 9 months, and then laboring them out of their bodies, these men wouldn't have a chance to have these low ideals of women.
Now to take a step back and acknowledge the women who should also be celebrated, the mom who got her kid to school on time today, the women who managed to take a shower and do 3 loads of laundry while also pumping and breast feeding her newborn child. The women who went to her 6th job interview just to get turned down right away because all though she is more than qualified she is female. Then there's the women quietly dealing with depression, anxiety, and many more mental challenges and she made it through another day without scarring herself, without beating herself down as others do all day long. The single mom who almost missed her kids basketball game because the overtime is much needed. The women separated from their child at the border who just wanted a chance for better. These are the every day women, the women not represented by a famous star or athlete. These are the women barely represented on tv or in movies, these are the ignored women, but they are strong, and they are worthy and they are not invisible.
I was raised by a strong women, a women who took it upon herself to do it alone, who although it never showed had bad days, hard days. I had a single mom who had to put me in an after school program because work is work, who had to send me to the east coast every summer to give me time with my family but could never come with because of work. I have a mom who now that I am older and have kids is my hero. I celebrate her as often as I can, and I spend my days wondering if she would have done it better, if she would have handled any situation I find myself in better, and yet when I call her and I ask her she praises me for being a good mom. She lets me know she is not perfect and that I am doing an amazing job and that is what women should do. Aspire to be better and then help those who are working at it, do not take the praise and walk away, take the praise and turn it back on the person giving it to you.
This world needs women, of all shapes and sizes, I did not even touch on the number of things I thought of when I planned this post, I wanted to keep it slightly simple, slightly drama free, but as we take these 24 hours to celebrate the females of the world, keep in mind it shouldn't only be 24 hours, it shouldn't be met with jokes and more ridicule, It should be a constant discussion because you never know when a little girl is listening and you never know what influence you had on someone until its to late. Women are powerful, women are smart, women are badass! I am lucky enough to be surrounded by strong women, women who should be celebrated. Stay at home moms who continue to amaze me as to how they keep theirs and their families lives running smoothly, working moms who manage their family calendar with military precision, single moms who prove time and time again they can do the work of two parents and still show their child love. I have women friends who are trying to start a family who show courage and grace everyday they face the same situation. I am friends with women who have taken their professions into their own hands and have started their own businesses, they have created beautiful things, they have shown how wonderful their brains are and they have made it work for them and them alone. I know young women who impress me with their fortitude and strength going through the world with so many unknowns to them. I am lucky to be friends with such strong women, I am proud to call them my friends and will continue to raise them up whenever I have a chance!
*AAII-Association for the Advancement of Inventions and Innovations