Today is International Women’s Day.
We need to stop being defined by what we own, and start being defined by what we create.
(He’s an author and comedian and head of The League of Pragmatic Optimists. I know. I’m giving the header space here to a dude.)
Here in Toronto, it is also a Sunday, a day many families of all shapes and sizes get to spend a little more time together. For those women in lucky families who are thinking maybe we don’t really need a day to celebrate ourselves, look up. Women are creating wonder and forging new paths in places unseen. They need our help.
Have money? You’re spoiled for choice. Find something to champion in a place far away. This is a global awareness day. Read here seven portraits of strength.
Have a platform? Champion the storytellers and lose the supremely annoying chick lit and chick film categories. One of the trillion times I fell in love with the Friendly Greek was when his tears matched mine as the credits rolled at the end of Jane Campion’s miraculous film The Piano. We are different, men and women, but the same in more ways that count. Support female writers, photographers, editors, film directors.
Movies are our cave paintings, what we leave behind in this world. How can we encourage the next generation of filmmakers if only a sliver of them are painted across the walls?
-Melissa Silverstein, Women and Hollywood
The next time you judge a women for her work/life/balance choices, know that you are contributing to a tired trope. As one who has juggled work in a busy newsroom with toddlers, to more than a decade of working from home, I’ve seen too many versions to think there is one answer. There isn’t. There’s just what works for you. What works for him/her/the kids/the dog/ cat/parrot/houseplant.
There is an unspoken pact that women are supposed to follow. I am supposed to act like I constantly feel guilty about being away from my kids. (I don’t. I love my job.) Mothers who stay at home are supposed to pretend they are bored and wish they were doing more corporate things. (They don’t. They love their job.) If we all stick to the plan there will be less blood in the streets.
Embrace the men in your life too.
We don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes, but I can see that they are, and that when they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence. If men don’t have to be aggressive in order to be accepted, women won’t feel compelled to be submissive. If men don’t have to control, women won’t have to be controlled.
-Emma Watson, from her stunning speech on Gender Equality at the UN. If you haven’t seen it, spend a moment today and watch this, with the whole family.
Get rid of little boxes. Most of us don’t fit in them. Women are funny. Their humour can be as raw as the bluest comic. Or not. Here’s a new series from one of our best creative minds, Tina Fey, starring funny girl Ellie Kemper, sure as sunshine to be the next character to fall in love with from the wonderland of Netflix.
It’s coming this summer to Canada.
You want strength?
For more posts on gender, you may enjoy: