The 8th of March marks international women’s day. A day that’s celebration can be traced back, 1908.
A day I have celebrated in some way for many years, often by posting on social media, meeting up with friends, and family and attending events. Last year we spent the day at Beamish with my family, we joined in a suffragette march, got questions by the police and had just the most amazing time.
This year, I’m spending it in hospital, surrounded by Women. Women that have been through it, but show the strength and determination of a thousand soldiers. Nursing staff that have worked throughout this pandemic and proved women’s worth, Physios, OTs, doctors, domestics and so many others, that work so hard to care for support, give reassurance and hope to many.
Tonight I hope to join a virtual celebration.
As I have lots of time on my hands I thought I could spend today, writing something about the women in my life that have shaped me.
Let’s start with family, of course my mother Mary, who would do anything to support her children, and their friends. Over the years she has fought for me to have a mainstream education, as people would see hemiplegia, and make so many assumptions. She became a governor at my school, and fought for so many other children to get the support they needed to succeed. She took some of my friends under her wing, that needed support, a roof over their head and guidance. She has always protected me, but also let me free to make mistakes and learn lessons.
Now she is a grandmother, she spends so much time teaching my niece, how to count, read, play, sing and be proud of who she is.
My grandmother Joyce died a few years ago now, but from her I learnt to look for the funny side, and how to care for cats.
Mine and my brothers auntie and godmothers, Sue, Carman and Pam, I learnt about my southern roots, faith and other cultures.
From my mums friends growing up, I learnt, that women can be whatever they want to be, they are intelligent, independent, free thinking women.
From my teachers I learnt so much, including the history of women’s movements that has fascinated me ever since. In particular I remember a history teacher, that liked to be addressed as Ms rather that miss or mrs. This is because unlike men, hearing your title immediately, tells you the marital status of a woman. I chose to use Ms.
The many identifying female friends I have had over the years tough me, although I was different, struggled physically and educational, I still had worth. There were some girls growing up that choice to bully and excluded me, but from them I also learn that sometimes it’s easier to disregard what you don’t understand, but it takes strength, love and support, to begin to see things differently. I’m sure many of those girls now have daughters or niece and regret how they treated others, they may have experience discrimination or loss. All I hope is they have learnt it might be harder to love, forgive and understand, but it sure feels better.
Other influences include musicians, activists, authors, politicians, actors, storytellers, new readers, historical figures.
In later years, networks of women both locally, and on social media have brought me comfort, inspiration, and validation.
The women’s suffrage movement, has always interested me, that they fought to been seen and treat as equals, that they asked for the right to vote, to own there own property, to have a career, even if they are mothers or wives.
The fact that there are still women in this world that still do not have these rights is beyond me. The fact that women in 1st world countries have to still fight to be treated and equals saddens me. The fact that some women take their education and lifestyle for granted, unaware of those that made that possible, disappoints me.
Please consider, others today and everyday. If a women hurts you, asks yourself why, don’t hate them back, ensure they understand the hurt they have coursed, forgive them and move on.
Let’s celebrate every women today!!
I hope I can have the strength to show, love, support, consideration and anything else the women in my life need.