Happy International Women’s Day, my beautiful friend!
This day has grown to mean so much to me, and not just because it’s a time to celebrate femininity and girl power. I mean, don’t get me wrong- I’m still going to be sending love letters to my main babes and making a point to compliment women everywhere I go today-BUT- it is also the day to really hone in on the pulse of the world, and become aware of what the reality is for other women outside of our personal circles.
As a mixed-race woman who was raised primarily in a safe and secure middle class household- my privilege has really become apparent in the last few years. I really have never had to struggle to get to where I want to be, or felt like my race held me back because of people’s outdated racist beliefs. I can recognize that I’m lucky, yet I’m also hyper-aware that life isn’t this simple for other women of different cultures.
International Women’s Day is the day to increase cultural awareness, uplift underrepresented women, and yes, let the wonder women around you know that the work they’re doing matters. If you’ve been blessed with privilege, of any sort, use it to better the lives of the women around you. If not every day- at least today.
So how, you ask?
This is the most important, and what I’m most excited about putting in to action today. Find a local women’s shelter or rehabilitation center in your city, call them up, and see what you can donate. It might be pads and tampons, or it might just be cash. Either way, know that your donation is helping several women who have fallen on hard times and need your help. It will take maybe an hour out of your day to contribute and will leave you with a warmed heart and a deeper understanding of how poverty is affecting women in your own community. Today, my money will be going to Crossroads, a non-profit in Claremont, CA that provides housing, education, and employment training in a homelike environment for women who have previously been incarcerated.
2. Support Your Local Girl Gang
Inspired by the A-MAZE-ING panel I went to hosted by Girl Gang the Label, I am ready to be more conscious of what businesses get my hard-earned dollars. Women have to work twice as hard to be successful, so it is imperative that we help each other’s businesses and ventures flourish. According to a study led by Guidant Financial and LendingClub, only TWENTY FIVE PERCENT of small business owners identify as female. Yes, only 25%… in 2019. Shocking, but we are all in the place to elevate those women by supporting them with our dollars. Make today the day you support those hustling business women around you, either by purchasing their goods, sharing their writing (hint, hint), or simply connecting your friends with their product.
3. Drop the F*ckBoy(s).
Ha, plot twist! But, girl, we did not get to where we are today by continuously giving our time to those who are undeserving of it. This is not what Mary Church Terrell fought for. Seriously, time is our most precious asset. Interacting with the boy(s) who only text us, call us, dare I say, bootycall us, when they have nothing else better to do- is NOT the way to help elevate women. This is not how glass ceilings get broken. Don’t reply. Delete his number. Clear your energy field. Your ancestors will be proud, and your future self will thank you.
4. Show Gratitude.
This one is totally open to your interpretation and however you like to show your lovin’. I am for sure making it a point to share a meal today with the woman who has had to overcome many a struggle to provide me with this beautiful life I’ve had: My mother. If you’re strapped for ideas on how to thank your girl gang: send a cute card, craft some clever texts, post an IG, gift a beautiful bouquet, or even Postmates them a coffee. Anything goes as long as it best represents the gratitude you have for the main women in your circle. There are many times I have felt down and out, only to be revived by my soul sisters’ magical words (seriously, my friends are real life magic), so they deserve to know how deeply my love for them flows.
5. Educate yourself.
The reality for women around the world is not as peachy-keen as it is in North America. Yes, our government needs a serious upheaval, but, we still have access to tampons, birth control, and doctors. We can call the police if we feel scared or threatened. We are able to become business owners and doctors. We have a choice in who we marry. Some countries still don’t afford those basic rights to women. So, whether it’s reading a book, listening to a podcast, or watching a documentary- do something today to expand your knowledge about women’s struggles in other countries. For my Netflix lovin’ generation, may I recommend starting with Period, End of Sentence (Oscar winner!) and The True Cost. Use this as an opportunity to acknowledge your privilege, and then find a way to use it for good.
Hopefully by the end of the day, you have found your own way to dive in to these five ideas. And if not these, I would love to hear how YOU choose to celebrate International Women’s Day! Please leave a comment with your ideas and thoughts.