Thursday, March 8, 2012

Celebrating women.





Did you know that March 8 is International Women's Day? Neither did I until I spent time outside of our country. It seems that here in United States that we see little or no need to celebrate women, you know, because of all that equality we have here. . .(sarcasm). Today is actually the 101st celebration of International Women's Day and for most of you, I imagine it is the 1st time you have heard of it. It seems that Americans don't feel the need to be involved in anything internationally celebrated, including women.


The first time I heard about Women's Day was when I was traveling in Mexico and Central America. I happened to be in southern Mexico on March 8, 2008 when someone, I will never remember whom, told me "Happy Women's Day". I was confused, I'd never heard of this Women's Day. I asked if it was a Mexican holiday and I was then informed that March 8 is, in fact, International Women's Day, celebrated the world over. I was delighted to know such a day existed, and disgusted at the same time that I had to leave my country in order to learn about this multi-national holiday.
Over the next three years, I was in various countries on March 8, and each time, I was wished well and embraced for simply being a woman. In 2010, while I was living in Bogotá, my Colombian boyfriend brought me flowers and wrote me a sweet note in Spanish waxing sentimental about all the things wonderful about the women in his life. Never have I received such sentiment from anyone here in United States on Women's Day. Not from my father, not from my brothers, not from any lovers or bosses or friends.
According to yogi tradition, women are sixteen times more powerful than men. Only sixteen times? From what I've seen, it's more than that. In my travels, I have seen more than my fair share of impoverished and homeless. More times than I can count, I have seen homeless women with more than one child. I do believe that only one time have I seen a homeless man with children in tow. Studies show that when women are earning money a large portion of it goes directly to nurturing the family she is also raising. Men fall short in this category and have a tendency to keep more for themselves before handing it over to the women who will then spend it on the family. In many cultures, it is the women who control the money in the family and for good reason, have you seen the crap that men buy with their money? For many women in this world, the real work begins when we arrive home from our outside jobs. The saying "Behind every great man is a great woman" did not come from nowhere. Anybody with even the tiniest amount of life experience knows that men are basically a mess without the help of a woman. This is evident as most of the married men I cut hair for are simply repeating their wives' requests, because it's obvious they have no clue what is best for themselves. The wisest men I know happily admit that women are the better of the two. I happen to wholeheartedly agree.
As women, we have a far greater capacity for tenderness and compassion. As women, we have a far greater capacity for nurturing. As women, we have a far greater capacity to bear burdens and to tolerate physical and emotional pain. As women we have a far greater capacity to multi-task and to endure. As women, we have a far greater capacity for creativity and communication. We are more patient, we are more peaceful, we are more generous, we are more compassionate. All of this makes it no mystery then as to why we are more beautiful. We have larger groups of friends and keep better ties with family. We live longer and we live happier.


Traditions have to begin somewhere. So to my mother and step-mother, to my sisters and step-sisters, to my aunties, to my nieces, to my dear friends, to my cousins, to my co-workers, and to determined women the world over, Happy Women's Day from United States. Thanks for keeping it all from falling apart.
Dedicated to my mother, the woman who taught me to fight for what I want without even showing it.

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