Today is International Women’s Day. I’m happy to note that more people seem aware of this, and I consider that a good thing. Although I must admit I find it a bit disconcerting and distressing that this day has suddenly seemed to have found itself as a focus for marketers to try to pitch things. That certainly seems a far cry from the observation’s inception in the socialist movement in the early 1900s.
Still, I hold it can only be a good thing to have a dedicated day to recognize and celebrate women across the globe, as well an opportunity to think about how much work needs to be done to create safe and equitable conditions for all women everywhere, so they can truly thrive. I can’t help but think of the beautiful expression “Women Hold Up Half the Sky” and hope that someday, some day soon, the burden of that won’t be weighted with such inequity.
There are so many sobering facts that we should all know about and be committed to rectifying: women account for nearly two-thirds of minimum-wage workers in the US, and women of color account for more than half of those earning minimum wage or less. Looking globally, the World Economic Forum predicts the gender gap won’t close entirely until 2186. Add in the issues of violence against women; trafficking; inadequate access to health care; and so so much more and you can see how much needs to change.
Can you imagine how different the world would be if all women were respected, all were cherished? What if equality of resources didn’t depend on our gender or color or age? How different would the world be? What if women weren’t oppressed; weren’t victims of violence; didn’t succumb to maternal mortality at oh-so-shocking levels in this modern age; what if all women had sovereign right over their own bodies, their choices, their lives? How different would the world be indeed?
Those are the collective issues I think we need to spend time and energy on. But I also think this day reminds us to celebrate all women, and celebrating the women in our own lives is a delicious thing which feels both precious and intimate to me. I am so blessed to have an extraordinary cadre of beautiful women to share my life with, and I am grateful to each one of them.
It somehow delights me that today’s celebration falls on Friday, which is the day devoted to Venus. Who better than Venus to know about all we love and all that is beautiful? Who better to oversee our celebrations of all the women who bless us with their presence and their shine and their fabulousity; their tenderness and their fierceness; their genius and their strengths; with their very beingness?
And isn’t that what to be beautiful really is? Be You To Full! Isn’t that what we want for all of us, and today especially for all women?
Whatever you do (or don’t do) on International Women’s Day, I encourage you to join me in celebrating all the beautiful women in our lives, and in the world – all the women standing along side us holding up half the sky.
I see you and celebrate you, and am grateful you are in the world. And today, I will recommit to a beautiful invitation from Anne Lamott:
“. . . As a radical act, I will not give up. I will be divine love with skin on.”
That is how I will be “Be You To Full.” What about you?