Why I celebrate #internationalwomensday :
Because I live in a society which flaunts it’s acceptance of gender inequalities in my face. Because Kylie Jenner is idolized by more teen girls than Malala Yousafzai is. Because Facebook floods my feed with the hashtag, whilst turning a blind eye to the countless cases of sexual harassment passing for “jokes” on the platform it provides.
Yes, I celebrate international women’s day because it provides me with an opportunity to add my middle finger to the collective F-you the Internet is directing towards sexism, today.
BUT. The more important reason for my celebrating International Women’s Day is this: women are some bad-ass mother fuckers! Seriously, where would YOU be today without the influence of any woman?
I’ve been blessed to have been loved, supported, educated, and encouraged by some pretty stellar women in my life. Shout out to a few women who have helped shape the woman I am:
My grandmother, may she rest in peace, personified strength. Without her, I wouldn’t know what it means to stand strong in my convictions, or how to be fearless in the pursuit of happiness. My courage and resilience were her gifts to me.
My mother, Deborah Baye blessed me with the gift of compassion and showed me what it means to love unabashedly. I can forgive and empathize, because of her. My heart, which often forgets it’s guard, comes from my mom.
My aunt not only lead my Girl Scout troop for many years, but also hand sewed nearly all of my childhood Halloween costumes, teaching me to be resourceful and to use my brain as my most powerful weapon. She is the reason I value intellect.
My sister, Jenn Skipper came along when I was eight years old and introduced me to my ability for unconditional love. She often reflects my convictions, and in doing so provides me with a unique perspective of my own beliefs/behaviors. I would die in her place. If she were missing, I would go to the edge of the earth to ring her home safely. My sister is the reason for my fiercely protective nature.
My best friends, Mallory Sheldon and Hailey Oh have been with me since kindergarten and I know they will be with me til the nursing home. Loyalty, trust, respect and kindness- that’s what their friendship is, and it’s priceless. these two ladies are the reason I believe so strongly in the importance of friendship.
There are more- SO many more- of you wonderful women out there, who have made a difference in my life. From childhood friends, to past educators, and colleagues- here’s to lookin’ at you ladies!