In honor of International Women's Day....
We are women—sisters and mothers, daughters and grandmothers, family and friends. We are a vast array of skin tones, religions, cultures, ages, shapes—from lips to hips—patently unique yet joined by our gender. That is our beauty. We may not have the power to move mountains, but we do have the power to bring about change through our voices and our votes. And together we fight on…
We are corporate CEOs, heads of households, single moms. We are skilled doctors, legislators, keepers of the home fires, soldiers protecting the front lines. We work thankless jobs, sometimes two or three, to provide for our families, to prove our worth. Many times we work without equal pay or respect. We’re told to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, only to fall back on our derrieres, but we get up and try again. We do it every day, because we are determined to fight on.
We are mothers and sometimes childless by choice or circumstance, making us no more or less a woman. We are the palm on the fevered forehead, the healers of scrapes, the soothers of nightmares, the teachers of morals. We are the “Hi, Moms” on national television, the driving force behind many a successful man, at times with no thought of our own success. We might not know exactly where we came from, but we know where we’re going—straight to the top of the respect ladder—as long as we fight on.
We sometimes seek shelter when fists and words are used to beat us down, but we are not defeated. We are often criticized for our presumed meekness and in turn, derided for our strength, yet we remain strong. We stand for the cause of righteousness, wearing symbolic colored ribbons on our lapels and raw emotions on our sleeves. We see no shame in crying, for tears express both joy and broken hearts. Yet some of us live in places where we're punished for speaking our minds. We still risk that punishment—even death—by removing the veil and shouting to those who will listen. Sometimes we cry, sometimes we are silenced, sometimes we die, but still we fight on.
We will teach our young men to recognize a woman’s worth, to respect and love her for who she is. We will teach our young women to respect themselves, to think with cool heads, keep company with compassion. We will teach the new generation acceptance of other’s differences, not tolerance; after all, the rainbow is accepted and revered, not tolerated, for its beautiful array of colors. We understand that the world is a tapestry rich with varying textures and tones, and we continue to weave the fabric that keeps families together. We serve as the voice for those who cannot speak as we struggle against injustice, even when we wonder if we have any fight left.
We are far from perfect, yet at times we expect perfection—from ourselves. We long for honest love, but in the absence of that love, we cannot give up, because we deserve nothing less. We must learn to acknowledge not only our faults, but our gifts. Only then will others acknowledge them too. We can rise above poverty and despair, smile when we want to weep, love when we’re afraid to feel, hope when all hope seems forever lost, because we are brave. We will strive to be all that we are meant to be, all that we are destined to be, finding solace in knowing we have survived to fight another day—a battle we will most surely win. After all, we are women—sisters, mothers, daughters, grandmothers and friends.
Strong, sexy, wonderfully flawed fighters.