What does International Women's Day mean to you?
Every single person on this planet has a role to play. We should all be appreciated, celebrated, given absolute respect and treated as equals.
Today we celebrate women's achievements (while also calling for gender equality). In a world where women are still not always considered "as good as men", days like this are so important.
We live in a world where people want to raise strong, independent women who take what they deserve and achieve anything they want. We tell young girls that they can do anything they want and they should never stop dreaming. Yet when these young girls get older, instead of always looking at their intelligence, their achievements, their capabilities, it seems like the world would rather talk about their weight, their hair, their diets, their makeup and their dresses and shoes.
I'll admit, sometimes I want to know what dress or shoes a woman has on, sometimes I want to talk about her hairstyle or her jewellery, but that is never as interesting as what a woman is doing with her life.
I used to think that as a woman (or a girl) we were all put in line and you were somewhere in there based on how pretty you were. I would look at another girl and think "i'm prettier than her" or "She's prettier than me". I was never told to do this, but it happened because of how things worked around me.
I rarely heard about women's achievements when I was growing up in the same way I rarely heard about how a man was "too fat to find a wife". But that was the norm.
They say behind every successful man, there stands a woman. But how many times did you hear about that woman?
How many times did you hear about a successful woman without some people adding on "but she's ugly" "she's fat though" "no wonder she's single" "the real question is: how fast can she make a sandwich"
And we get told, it's just the norm.
Eventually I realised we lived in a world where not were men bringing us down, but so were other women. Women around us who say that young girls should not be interested in science, that it's pointless to have a career if you can't find a husband. That your looks should please a man. That your "real job" is having children.
Or even people online who think it's acceptable to comment "your bum is too small", "I achieved that in less time than you did", "you're too muscly/skinny/fat", "no one wants to see you in that outfit". All these are attacks on women (and men too) who have worked hard to achieve what they have now and bringing them down for it says more about the people who write the comments than the people they're commenting about.
I'm done with that mindset and with all the people who think it's acceptable to bring women and their achievements down, and this is exactly why we need to celebrate all women, all their dreams and all their achievements.
Let's use this day to remember that we are all equal. We all have something to contribute to the world and instead of tearing each other down or competing because we're told we have to, we should be encouraging, supporting and bring all women up.
If you think there is no need for days like this, you are part of the problem.
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