In the whole of my existence, I have related to the women in my life in as many ways as considered humanly possible. In my short 46 years on this earth I have developed a deep respect for women because of my life experience. My sister and I were raised by my mom. As I grew up, I watched this amazing woman take on the role of Mother, Father, breadwinner and any other that may have been required of her on a daily basis. I never related to the notion of “traditional” gender roles. The same could be said for all of the women in my life. I have always been surrounded by strong women, but even then, I will never be able to truly appreciate what that means.
See, even now, I am surrounded by strong, proud, fierce, geeky and nasty women that live in a world that doesn’t always see them for their true worth. As much as I try to do my part to make a difference, I still miss the gist of it all. I never really thought about it until this week. As much as I pride myself on being a feminist and supporting women’s causes, it doesn’t mean much unless I put action to those feelings. It is no longer enough for us to just say that we support women’s causes – we are being required to act, to put our money where our mouths are.
Until very recently organizations like Planned Parenthood and the many programs that it supports were not actively under fire from the federal government. Organizations that help address women’s health issues in the inner cities and rural areas where low incomes hinder the access to healthcare. You don’t see men’s health issues put on the back burner – they are almost always front and center and I have to wonder why. Why are men’s issues so much more easily addressed than women’s?
See, in my bubble, men and women are all equal. In my bubble, we all get paid the same and people respect the hell out of each other because we’re decent like that. But that does not make it so, does it? Just because I do what I say doesn’t mean that Tom, Dick and Hank do – and they usually don’t! Luckily, I hang with Andy, Ken, Mike and John, and they do! So this International Women’s Day served as a wake up call for me to act and I will continue to do so. I also hope that, in doing so, I serve as an example to others who got the wake up call, too.