Sometimes it’s hard to take a stance, to make a change. Sometimes we get caught up in the day-to-day, in our to-do lists, in our obligations, in our work and commitments, in everything else that seems so important. We just simply push things off to the side. We justify reasons why we couldn’t, or why we didn’t. We forget, and try to rationalize with excuses of busyness or tight schedules or running like chickens with our heads cut off.
But the truth is, maybe we’re scared.
Maybe we’re scared of what it could mean if we took a stance for something, or against something we knew wasn’t right. Maybe we’re scared of the consequences, or how we would look to others if we really said what we felt. Maybe it’s because of where we are – a societal standing, a place of privilege, a position of naiveté, plain ignorance, or fear, that crippling fear.
But maybe we must learn to fight back against the excuses, against the reasons, against the fear and learn how and why and what’s really important at the end of the day.
Maybe being a woman is not only about celebrating our beauty and strength, the paths we’ve pushed ourselves down, the rights we’ve gained and the trials we’ve overcome. Maybe being a woman is about the continuance – the refusing to give up, the persistence for equality and growth and change.
Today is #InternationalWomensDay, a day of celebration for who we are and how far we’ve come. A day to look back on all that has changed and how powerful we can be when we stand together, rather than against. When we stand up, rather than sit down. When we stand for ourselves, rather than letting the world decide our fate.
Today, I am so so so proud to be a woman. Proud as I read articles and inspiring quotes from writers and artists and actresses and everyday people, fueled by the confidence and passion of even more powerful women before us. Proud as I see transgender people, lesbians, grandmothers, children, widows, women of every race and religion and corner of the world come together with smiles on their faces. Proud as I see so many wonderful souls reminded of who we are and how much there is to celebrate.
But I know I must also recognize that we are not done.
I must remember that today does not only signify success; today also is a reminder that each of us – every color and race and sexual identity and faith and stance – must continue to fight.
Today’s theme is ‘Be Bold For Change.’ But that theme doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. That theme isn’t over when March 9th creeps her way into the clouds. That theme doesn’t end with the last hashtag, the last Tweet, the last Facebook status tagged ‘proud to be a woman!’
We must not only celebrate being a woman today, or fighting for women today, or loving one another today. Because our battles are not over, our war has not been won.
There are still women who feel mistreated. There are still women who feel alone. There are still women who are learning to identify as women who have not found comfort and security in the arms of their sisters. There are still women who are abused. There are still women who face racism and sexism and judgment for decisions or choices or faith or color of their skin.
There are still women who need us to stand together and be bold for change – today and every day.
So let’s make that our promise, right now. That our passion won’t just stop with the dawn of tomorrow. That our pride, our Feminism, our fight won’t end just because today has come and gone.
Promise that we will continue to try to learn about one another – put aside our differences and privilege, start opening rather than chalking people up to stereotypes or misconceptions, begin accepting rather than criticizing, and listening rather than forming our own biased opinions.
Promise that we will stop making excuses, stop being so busy, so tired, so scared, so wrapped up in our own selfishness to take time to put our sisters first.
Promise that we will be bold – for ourselves, for the women who need us, for the Feminism that has lit a fire in our souls and will never die.
Promise that today we will celebrate what it means to be women, but tomorrow we will fight. We will love. We will exist and think and challenge and push back against the world outside ourselves.
We will be women – bold – today and every day.