I remember when I was in college reading the words “Women hold up half the sky.” What that meant to this budding feminist who marched for the ERA (which got defeated in part, because of a silly notion that it would mean shared public restrooms), was that we as a gender were as vital as men when it came to our value and roles in society. What it really was about was equal pay for equal work at a time when the going rate was 59 cents for every dollar a man made. According to an article in TimeU.S, called Why Do Women Still Earn Less Than Men? (April 20, 2010) ” U.S. women still earned only 77 cents on the male dollar in 2008, according to the latest census statistics. (That number drops to 68% for African-American women and 58% for Latinas.)”
It isn’t about male bashing, it is about standing side by side with men. It is about safety for women, who need not worry about walking alone. It is about freedom in our own bodies, saying yes or no to touch, whether by a partner or stranger. It is about teaching girls that they matter and need not fit a stereotype for appearance. It is about say no to abuse of any kind. It is about choice of who to love; knowing that it is about the person and not the plumbing. It is about education for all. It is about economic and decision making power.
March 8th is International Women’s Day, celebrated around the planet. The theme is Connecting Girls: Inspiring Futures
World wide initiatives include:
– Global, United Nations: Women and men united to end violence against women and girls
– Canada, Status of Women (Federal Gov): Strong Leadership. Strong Women. Strong World: Equality
– Australia, UNIFEM: Unite to End Violence Against Women
– Australia, Queensland Government Office for Women: Our Women, Our State
– Australia, WA Department for Communities: Sharing the Caring for the Future
– UK, Doncaster Council: Women’s Voices and Influence
– UK, Welsh Assembly Government: Bridging the Generational Gap
– UK, Accenture: Stretch Yourself: Achieving 50:50 in the boardroom by 2020
– USA, IBM: Women@IBM: Success in the Globally Integrated Enterprise
A few years ago, I wrote what I call my Wo-manifesto; a statement of who I am as a work in progress and what I stand for.
I live full out, regardless of what anyone thinks.
I refuse to dim my light for anyone in order for them to feel comfortable.
I accept all the abundance that the Universe off ers.
I forgive myself and others for perceived slights.
I live with compassion both inwardly and outwardly.
I see my own beauty, without the ‘yes, but’s’, and ‘ if only’s’, simply . . . as is.
I move with grace, dancing to whatever music I hear.
I sing out with enthusiasm.
I speak my truth.
I welcome Love in all forms.
I refuse to second-guess myself.
I tell the people in my life what they mean to me.
I keep my heart open.
I imagine beyond limitations.
I mirror back the beauty in others I encounter.
I walk barefoot literally and figuratively.
I refrain from ‘guilty pleasures’ and instead simply call them pleasures.
I ask for what I want, knowing that I may not receive exactly as I have asked.
I accept what is for the Highest Good.
I embellish my body with colors, fabrics, and designs that make me feel good.
I move on when a situation warrants it.
I sit with my own feelings, not pushing them away out of fear.
I surrender to ‘what is’.
I trust in Divine timing.
I unburden myself of excess baggage.
I live in integrity.
I am genuine and transparent; what you see is what you get.
I am learning to be subtle.
I say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ with equal ease.
I ask for what my work is worth without
stuttering, and I expect to receive it.
I emotional bungee-jump, enjoying the ride in free-fall.
I stand in my own Truth.
So, what is your wo(man)-ifesto?