Happy International Women’s Day!
You may have never even heard of this holiday which is mostly celebrated in other countries, or you have seen calls for movements such as #adaywithoutwomen. I lived in Shanghai for three years, and in China there is much more of a to-do for this day. Women often go home from work after a half-day and there are huge sales on items considered women’s products. On the flip-side, there is also messages, both obvious and subliminal. In China these messages are directed at women to hurry up and get married before they turn thirty, and to be good wives that don’t “make a fuss.” I am not even going to get started on that, but I think we have an opportunity to make this holiday our own. Here are five ideas on how to do just that.
Write a thank-you note for the influential women in your life.
You don’t even need to mention Women’s Day, but sending a note to a woman in your life that helped you become who you are today is a perfect celebration of being a female. Think about the women who don’t fit into the Mother’s Day category, but deserve recognition. Send out some love!
Do something for yourself.
I am on a budget, so a spa day isn’t something I will likely be able to justify, but there are other self-love things I can do that don’t break the bank. If I’m being honest, I am my biggest critic, so making a list of “10 things I have done well in the last week” gets my mind on the positive side. I could also use a little more zen in my life and what I have discovered lately is Zentanglings. It is basically meditative doodling, although those actually associated with its creation don’t like the use of the word doodle. It is something I can do with two toddlers in the room, so that is a huge bonus.
Become a positive female influence in a young female’s life.
I love the quote “be who you needed when you were younger.” There is so much potential in this notion and not all of the options take too much time. Send a new book to your niece. Take your daughter and her friend out to ice cream and ask them their opinions on things that matter. Ask your babysitter about her college dreams. Introduce her to a friend of a friend who works in a field she is interested in and facilitate a conversation that could be helpful. And, of course, there are other ways to help that require a bigger time commitment like Big Sisters, but are so worth it.
Buy tickets for “Listen to Your Mother” (LTYM) in Boulder.
If you haven’t heard of Listen to Your Mother, mark your calendar! On April 29th, Boulder will have a show of local writers. LTYM’s website explains: “The mission of each LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER production is to take the audience on a well-crafted journey that celebrates and validates mothering through giving voice to motherhood–in all of its complexity, diversity, and humor–in the form of original readings performed live on-stage by their authors.” You are very likely to leave the performance feeling so proud of our gender.
Educate yourself on issues concerning women.
No matter which way you lean politically, it is our duty to understand laws and policies that affect women. It is an embarrassment that women across the world die for opportunities we take for granted every day. Ask questions when things don’t make sense, listen to answers, and take action when you see the opportunity.