Today is International Women’s Day.
How will you celebrate women’s achievements ?
It’s hard to believe that prior to the 1970’s most women’s contributions were virtually an unknown topic in the United States public school curriculum.
Or in general public consciousness.
It all started in 1910
Begun by the UN, globally, in 1910 to honor the movement for women’s rights and to build support for achieving universal suffrage for women , the day was expanded to Women’s History Week in California in 1978 at the behest of some spunky gals in Sonoma County,
In 1980 President Carter issued the first Presidential Proclamation declaring the Week of March 8th to be National Women’s History week.
Some 77 years after the first UN decree, in 1987, Congress expanded the celebration again to declare March National Women’s History Month in the US.
Fast forward another thirty one years and we find ourselves standing at a precipice of women’s activism.
The Rise of Feminine Energy
Credit Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote, back to back women’s marches and the rise of #MeToo ,#TimesUp movements, the result is a history making number of women finding their voices, telling their stories and taking on roles of leadership.
More than twice as many women are running for congress in 2018 compared with 2016.
It is an exciting time to witness, this Rise of Feminine Energy. A time where terms like nurturing, sustainable, inclusivity and collaboration are the buzzwords.
Soft skills are becoming not only acknowledged in leadership circles but desirable.
The immediate gratification of a consumer society, hell bent on destroying Mother Earth, for want of materialism and rapid technological development has peaked.
Slowly, the demand for a better, more just society is emerging.
As Cathedral builders, women connect to greater purpose, that of making a more ethical and equitable world for all peoples.
A woman is like a tea bag –
you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.
We have built our progress one brick at a time.
On the successes of Susan B Anthony, Elizabeth Stanton, Margaret Sanger, Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks and Jane Roe we have added Margaret Thatcher, Golda Meier, Angela Merkel , Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor.
Layer by layer. One success has led us to the next.
The sweat and tears of our mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers have shaped us into the fierce protectors of our progeny.
Who today, with voices raised together in unity, have arrived at the moment when our true work can begin.
So how do we choose to honor those who have paved the way for us? To acknowledge those who have built our foundation?
In my humble opinion, it is best done by the listening to and the retelling of their stories. Their stories hold our most potent medicine.
Honoring The Journey
Here are a few ways to honor those women:
~Collect the stories of your mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers for your progeny. Knowing where you came from, recognizing your roots has great power. Trace the lineage of your female ancestors: Their achievements, their missed dreams, their joys, their sorrows. Speak them out loud, transcribe them into a lovely book. If possible, include photos.
~Check out the website Makers, a feminist media brand for newsMAKERS, historyMAKERS and troubleMAKERS. (you know which you are…) Launched in 2016 , Makers tells the stories of today’s trailblazing women to inspire changeMAKERS of tomorrow with over 4500 original videos and 400 MAKERS interviews. That’s enough to send you down the rabbit hole for the rest of the month.
~Pop some corn and (re)watch one of these movies about women who were brave enough to change history:
Hidden Figures- academy award nominated film about black female mathematicians who worked at NASA during the Space Race with Russia.
Norma Rae- based on the true story of a textile factory worker from North Carolina who becomes involved in the labor union activities, after her health and that of her coworkers in compromised.
Silkwood– an American chemical technician in Crescent Oklahoma and labor union activist known for raising concerns about corporate practices related to health and safety of workers in a nuclear facility.
Erin Brokovitch– biographical story of the fight against the energy corporation Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) for water contamination of the town of Hinkley California.
Seeing Allred– documentary concerning Gloria Allred, leading women’s rights champion.
~Read a complilation of short stories of Women Empowered:
FIRSTS: Women Who Are Changing the World, from the Editors of Time Magazine. Profiles nearly 50 women across a range of endeavors, including : business, politics, science, technology, sports, entertainment and more. Meet General Lori Robinson, the first woman to lead troops into combat, Kathryn Sullivan, the first woman to walk in space, and more. Inspirational!
12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women, Gail McMeekin. An inspirational roadmap, profiling 45 successful creative gals, provides the tools necessary for women to uncover their own authenticity and go for their creative dreams.
~Write your story, if appropriate, or your grandchild with the hardbound, Grandmother Remembers. No one can tell your story like you do. My Nana gifted her story to me almost twenty years ago. It remains my most treasured memento.
And remember to do some serious self care this month, for you are one of the foundational bricks for tomorrow’s cathedral.
Sending Love and Light,