And so our mothers and grandmothers have, more often than not anonymously, handed on the creative spark, the seed of the flower they themselves never hoped to see – or like a sealed letter they could not plainly read.
– Alice Walker
It’s that day of the year when Google makes a funky logo and women talk about their achievements, their influences and dreams – I think it’s a really nice way for women to celebrate their gender and to unite in their common cause.
I was going to post some pictures of flowers of a pretty pieces of jewellery, then thought that was a bad idea and if anything, it’s patronising. Women may like flowers and jewellery, but it is not what we want to define us on International Women’s Day. We are more than sparkly things and poems about comparisons to delicate blooms (and wilting roses). What we do want is examples of women who have made a difference in the world and have set positive role models, not just as women but as people.
One of the most memorable feminist quotes I have ever heard which has stuck with me over the last couple of decades (among a lot of others) is:
“You don’t need to act like a man to be a feminist”.
International Women’s Day is all about celebrating how to be a woman, without undermining women and without having to conflict with men. How that is defined is entirely up to us – whether we pick the pink bubbles and sparkly shoes, whether we choose to wear Doc Martens and eat cupcakes or whether we shave our heads and wear red lipsticks – being a feminist doesn’t always mean you can’t enjoy fashion, men or life.
I have been lucky enough to have a lot of positive female role models in my life, many of them in my family – my grandmother, my mother, my sisters and even my cousins – not to mention influential teachers over the years and co-workers who have really supported me over the years. It’s only as I get older that I realise how much we must value these people in our lives, and that it really makes a difference if we choose to take their advice and appreciate their roles. I haven’t quite found my path in life, there’s so many things I want to explore, places to visit and things to do, but I do have ambitions that I can only try to achieve by trying to work hard. In the mean time, I’ll probably wear lots of bright pink lipstick and find lots of new ways to post pictures about cupcakes, write stories and draw silly doodles.
I’ll leave you with the picture I decided to pick in the end (and it was a close call with this picture!) – not chocolate or flowers or jewellery (or even cooking), but a picture of pens. We’re crazy about pens for some reason in my family, and I’m sure we’re not the only ones, I certainly know a lot of women who love them! I don’t know if it’s because of the inviting colours and the promises of writing that they represent, or the fact that they just bring out our inner geekiness, but either way here’s a picture of some pens, and Happy International Women’s day.