Wake Up To Change
I woke up this morning as I do every morning. Full of hope for the day ahead. Full of excitement at the promise of new adventures. And, let’s be honest here, slightly sleepy & bleary-eyed after what’s been a manic start to a jet-lagged week after two weeks back home in San Diego filling my soul & recharging my inspiration batteries.
Today’s a special day though.
One a bit different to other days. Today my Twitter stream & Facebook feeds are dominated by headlines of female world-leaders, strong women we meet every day, marches, protests, & (typically) cats.
Seriously, Internet? Cats? Still?
I guess if cat worship was a ‘thing’ for ancient Egyptians, then it makes sense in the internet age – kinda.
In amongst the usual algorithmic clutter of content, & off of the back of over a year of #MeToo, #TimesUp & #NeverAgain cultural movements, I’m heartened to see a huge surge of powerful posts pointing towards the tidal swell towards equality.
Words are forming.
Language is building.
Sentiment is taking shape – we’re moving from impassioned pleas towards demanding action. Now.
And, vivaciously poignant videos.
Sheesh, it’s 7am & I’ve gone through this Kleenex box next to me crying happy tears, angry tears, impassioned tears. I should note here, Team, I’m not usually a crier. But, as I said earlier, today’s different.
A Happy And Heavy Heart
Friends, family, colleagues, brands, politicians and businesses across the world are bringing International Women’s Day to life this year across digital and social media in a way I’ve not experienced before.
My heart? Today, is happy & heavy. Happy that so many people are not merely recognizing today as a tick-box exercise in political correctness, but rather a necessary element of driving informed, honest dialogue around gender inequality at work, at home, and beyond.
Heavy because we still face a large opposition of naysayers. People who love the patriarchal BAU of inequity & inequality that keeps most down, & lifts only a few. There’s also a heaviness in knowing that one day a year of shaking the internet isn’t enough to bring gender parity closer to reality.
Having a day set aside to celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women feels great, but stings just a little bit too. Ya know?
What happens tomorrow? Who among us will continue to talk, argue, scrap, and otherwise fight for women’s rights?
Will we just go back to ho-hum, everyday acceptance of the world as it is. Will we still be supported by our bosses, our lovers, our family if we speak up consistently? I’m not so sure we will be. At some point we are labeled as that feminist or that girl with opinions.
Will the wheel keep spinning or will our voices quiet again until March 8th rolls around again next year? How will we continue the dialogue daily between all people – women & men alike?
This time last year I made a promise to myself, to my colleagues, & to my family to do better. To speak up & speak out. And to call out moments of harassment, mansplaining, inequity, & otherwise detrimental interactions towards women.
365 sleeps later? I’m bloody proud of myself. Slowly but surely I see my younger colleagues – male & female alike – standing up for each other. Allowing each other to speak. And, treating each other with more kindness.
There’s still a lot left to be done though. Old Boys Clubs still run rampant through corporations large & small. Women are still paid less then men in the same (or even lower) positions. Vernacular & language around leadership are still very male.
Make A Promise
As I did last year, I again am making a promise to do more for women in hopes that we actually start shifting the balance towards fairness. There’s a large piece of work to be done in disentangling visibility from power. They are not one & the same, though they are often treated as such.
My call to action for women & men today? Don’t be complacent. You have a voice, use it. Fight the fear of standing up for yourself or someone else. Do it. Make change happen through your own consistent actions. Small, large… whatever. Just stand up for something or someone.
Every little bit counts.
Here’s to strong women everywhere.
May we support you. May we lift you up. May we celebrate you. May we be you.
And, may we raise the next generation in your light.