For International Women’s Day, I don’t want to spend time honoring famous women. There are other writers and researchers more skilled than I who know the details of these women’s lives and can-and will-relay them. It’s not that these famous women are not important or don’t deserve their day to be remembered, but for my own celebration I want to do something closer to home.
I may never be able to properly thank all the women who made a difference in my life if I don’t take the time to honor them alongside the pioneers in feminism. It would be a disservice to what they have taught me if I disregard them in order to spew out facts about Adrienne Rich or Judith Butler.
This is not just an ode to the women who are closest to me, but a sweeping thank you to really every woman I have met. If I have passed you on the street and exchanged polite hellos, if I went to school with you, whether I liked you or not, thank you.
If I have learned anything from being a feminist and looking at the women I have interacted with, it is that there is no right way to be a woman. There is no one image that can be the face of feminism, and there is no one woman to celebrate.
I honor the women who know that International Women’s Day will pass. When it is gone, sexism will still exist. These women I have met, live with, or love will wake up on March 9th and know they will still be denied equal pay, still live in rape culture, and still live in a world where they are taught to hate their bodies and teach their daughters to do the same.
I honor the women who are proud to be women anyway. The women who will wake up on March 9th and fight for gender equality because they know there is a long way ahead of us.