Today, March 8, 2022, is International Women’s Day. What is the power of a day- of one day celebrating women? I’ve been struggling to put in to words what this day means to me because one day is not enough to support the strong women of the world. It’s not enough to show our girls growing up what they can be in this life. One day is not enough to keep propelling women forward in a world still holding so many of us back.
So, why is this day important to me? It’s not just because I’m a woman. Is it because of all that I have? A university degree, a home owner, and a small business owner? There are parts of the world where that’s not allowed to happen for women, and I can’t even fathom what that’s like; to be denied simply because of the body parts I was born with, or I should say, without. I can’t imagine someone looking at me and saying ‘You can’t’ just because I’m a woman, but thats because I grew up with extreme privilege. I’m a straight white woman born in Canada, who am I to talk about the struggles of women at all.
We all have or have had women in our lives: Mothers. Sisters. Cousins. Friends. Co workers. Mentors. Heroes. Would you ever want to hear or see someone talk badly to any of them? To tell them they can’t, or call them names for asserting themselves? What would your response be? That is what fuels my passion for this day. For those who haven’t been as fortunate as I have, we need International Women’s Day to go beyond a single day.
The world doesn’t need more humble women.
What can we do to keep the momentum from this day going? Maybe it starts within us – with the language we use, or changing behaviours we grew up with that are actually damaging to all of us. I’m just as guilty for it. To be a strong woman does not mean you are: intimidating, bossy, or aggressive. It doesn’t mean you’re a bitch because you know what you want, and you work hard for it. We, as women, have to stop tearing each other down and resorting to using these terms. We need to stop feeling threatened by powerful or successful women. Study them. Learn from them. Don’t tear them down. The world is doing that enough already.
I felt uneasy about posting an article I’d been interviewed for on social media, until someone sent me a video stating: ‘The world doesn’t need more humble women’, and I realized that’s true. It needs them to be loud about what they’re doing – to celebrate their successes publicly. To let other women know they can do it too. Why do we fear sharing our success? Is it because we’re afraid it will look like bragging?
I spent the last half of my 20s and the first half of my 30s thinking I couldn’t have love and success – it just wasn’t possible.
Another article I was asked to be a part of scared the shit out of me just with the title: Power Women: Alicia Simms of Truro Buzz Media and Promotions On How To Successfully Navigate Work, Love and Life As A Powerful Woman. ‘I can’t call myself a powerful woman,’ was my immediate thought. How arrogant would that be? That was followed by ‘Who the hell am I to talk about navigating work, love and life – I’m divorced with a string of failed relationships.’ While my professional life was thriving, my personal life was a raging dumpster fire. I spent the last half of my 20s and the first half of my 30s thinking I couldn’t have love and success – it just wasn’t possible. I either had to make myself smaller to fit in to a relationship, or accept that I would never be able to have love and a successful career.
To me, this day means we have come so far, but we still have a long way to go. Women need to be able to walk down a street at night and not fear for their safety. We need to be able to dress how we want to dress without fear of being told ‘we’re asking for it’. I know women who are afraid to work late in an office alone, and that should just never be.
Maybe I am an aggressive woman. I have a fire inside me; a passion for life that I cannot quantify, and nothing, absolutely NOTHING is going to keep me from going after anything I set my mind too – certainly not my genitals. I will never stop celebrating International Women’s Day, and sharing the words of powerful women everywhere, and doing my part to create a world where we can #BreakTheBias. That’s the power in a day.