I wonder if there will ever be a time when people are just people. Human beings, just being human. Is that more unimaginable than jetting off to the moon for a Virgin holiday; or parting most of the American population from their favourite firearm? I wonder who put the idea into people’s heads in the first place. That to be superior members of the human race, rulers and people of power you must first meet the criteria of being white, male and heterosexual. Who decided this? I wonder why so many individuals around the world went along with this notion that a particular race, religion, gender or sexual preference was better than any other and in some cases still do. I just wonder. Especially considering a good half of the population are and always have been women. How did we let this happen? How do we let any injustices happen, some of the atrocities occurring in the world right now astound and baffle me? How do we manage to evolve so slowly?
My father and his father tick these boxes, my brother, my husband and sons. They have flaws I love them all but they aren’t or wasn’t always perfect or better, not by a long shot. The males in my family history pale in comparison to the greatness of the women. I have pondered on the idea that maybe the reason I have so many boys is so that I can help address that imbalance. I hope that I can raise good men. My upbringing is pretty old-fashioned East End. Little girls were seen and not heard and women looked after the men! That’s probably why I am prone to overfeeding people and ironing everything in sight (this doesn’t go down well with my more liberated female friends, who flinch when I speak of my endless hours spent removing creases from my mountains of washing!) Luckily my views on society aren’t stuck in 1970s Walthamstow. At a recent school reunion, we were all amazed at the amount of sexism and racism that was just part and parcel of everyday life back then especially in school; people just didn’t seem to know any better. We can laugh about it. Fortunately, we make progress; slowly I might add, but we do make progress. Thankfully teenage girls no longer have to do PE in very large ugly bottle green knickers!
Are we not all made of the same flesh and blood and crazy thoughts? What generation will be the one that stops noticing the differences and just recognize the soul of a person? Nice as it is, we shouldn’t need a special day to celebrate how wonderful women are or to remind us to value our worth and sense of equality; any more so than we need to be reminded that it is okay to be gay. We shouldn’t have to be urged to be kinder to other women either. The real achievement will come when this day is no longer essential. When men are men and women are women, just a fact without judgement or expectation. So that it isn’t a major deal if a woman becomes a president anymore so than if she is the one flying us into space.
When I am overtired from trying to be wonder woman, I sometimes announce to my family that “next time I am coming back as a man,” or more recently a Hungarian Vizsla! My dog seems to have the best life ever. I am not sure that being a man will be any easier but the grass is always greener as they say.
For now, I am a woman, a daughter, a sister, an auntie, a niece a friend and a mother. I love the women in my life I have been blessed with my beautiful mum, I genuinely love my sister even though we fought like cat and dog for much of our first 18 years on the planet and I was spoilt with seven amazing Aunts and two kind-hearted nurturing Nans. My daughter is a dream and I cannot even count the endless beauties that I am lucky enough to call good friends. The women throughout my life have taught me how to be a good woman.
One of the perks of being a woman is we have the ability to grow small people (with the help of men of course) enabling us the gift of motherhood, this job carries with it a responsibility to help and encourage those little people to be that generation that doesn’t see a gender or notice skin tone or gives much thought to who sleeps in your bed at night and where you choose to worship your God.
There is much talk about self-love at the moment; it’s very trendy to love one’s self. I think it’s important to like ourselves and where we are at. Especially if a big part of that routine consists of caring for others and can seem monotonous and undervalued. As women we find ourselves so easily taking this role as the carer; is it part of our genetic makeup or have we been coerced into it over the years. I know my mum had me in training from an early age, I don’t really remember a time when I wasn’t being helpful in some way. Sometimes there doesn’t seem like there’s any time left in the day to nourish and love ourselves. But I am a big fan of Buddhist teachings and apparently, the givers amongst us will be richly rewarded (maybe not in this lifetime). As women, we are also encouraged to have it all. I don’t think I want it all. It’s too exhausting!
If we can work on loving ourselves more, If we can value our worth and ignore the thousands of years of conditioning and belief that we aren’t as good as somebody with different body parts, that we are in fact extremely significant and influential. If we can be happy and confident and comprehend that we are quite capable of many great things although we inhibit this female body; whilst maintaining all that is good about being feminine, that’s setting an amazing example for our daughters and our sons. Isn’t it?
Happy International women’s day
May you be strong, valued and loving always.