It's March 8, 2017 and it's International Women's Day. Women all over are wearing red in support of this powerful movement. It's not about not showing up to work, it's more powerful then that.
Being a strong, independent woman, I have made it a point to raise my girl's to be the same way. I fight for them to be equal. I have stressed that they not let anyone walk all over them, that they not let anyone use the words "you're a girl".
We have all heard stories of women in our lives, the struggles they go through to get to where they currently are in their lives. Why? Shouldn't we be equals by now? Heck, we push out those babies, shouldn't we be better then them?!?! All jokes aside, I have worked hard in my life to be where I am, I shouldn't then have to fight to be paid the same salary as the guy next to me who could care less! That's what today is about!
I have a son, he is in first grade this year. It's the year that kid's start realizing boys and girls are different in more ways then just long hair and short hair. He often comes home with little rhymes about boys smarter and girls stupider. He tells me often that he is smarter then the girls, simply because he is a boy. This results in nice long talks. I don't let him get away with it! We talk often about other difference between boys and girls, and I explain to him that girls can do anything boys can do, sometimes better! He has a best friend who has been his friend since preschool and he is pretty protective of her. She has played on his bassketball team and we make it a point to make him realize how well she is when she plays sports.
I believe in order for our world to change, it starts at home. It starts with parents making it a point to raise their girls strong, to make them feel comfortable to stand up for themselves. To make them feel proud to raise their hands in class, yell out the answeers and pass their report cards around because they got all A's! It's our job to raise our boys as an equal, not superior to their female counterparts. We need to make sure our boys see women as a competition in life and not as a rung on the ladder for them to climb.
My girls are raised pretty modest. I am very strict with the clothes they wear, how late they stay out and who they hang out with. I raise them to know that their beauty comes from within, not what we are wearing or how much skin we are showing. I raise my son in the same manner. He makes comments about how pretty a girl is, we make sure he also comments on how well she reads (remember he is in first grade, that's what they are learning) or how great her manners are. We make sure that he asks any girl if he can hug them before he gets near them. Girl's have rights, and it's important that boys of all ages know this!!
My oldest daughter will be applying to college in the next year and a half. Right now, she has made all A's in high school. She is proud to be a nerd. She is proud to tell anyone and everyone that she is number 1 in her class. She doesn't hide it. We have never let her be embarrassed about being smart. She works hard and should be rewarded. Today I stand for her, for her future that she will one day be paid the same as her male counterpart. That she will have a life filled with success because she's smart and hardworking, and not struggle because she's a female in whatever field she chooses.
Use today, not as a day to take off from work and lay on the couch, but as a day to start an important conversation. A day to thank a women who made a difference in your life. A women who gave you the courage to take a stand and make a difference in someone elses life. Talk to your daughters, talk to you sons. This world is full of amazing women! Mother Teresa, Rosa Parks, Helen Keller, Princess Di, Oprah, Ellen, Malala, and so many more who paved the road for us and those ahead of us who will widen the road for us. You never know, the first female president may be sitting on the couch next to you, and your commitment to making her believe anything is possible may lead her to the White House!
And most important, don't just do it today! Make this your way of life. Empower all women, everyday! #likeagirl