According to the UN, International Women’s Day is “a day when women are recognised for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political. It is an occasion for looking back on past struggles and accomplishments, and more importantly, for looking ahead to the untapped potential and opportunities that await future generations of women.”
Imagine the above words as a painting. What do you see?
As I sit down to write my sentiments about International Women’s Day, a tremendous sense of passion and pride washes over me. I picture a painting coloured in women of the past fighting for equality.
I am the type of person who feels everything deep within her soul. You may call me — your friendly neighbourhood over-thinker. While my mind races with eloquent terms and thoughts I so desperately try to articulate, the over-thinker in me cuts them apart and throws them in the trash.
However, the dreamer in me habitually takes over, burying me in a writing trance. A portrait of my mind, if you will.
Tonight, my trance is impassioned and fueled with the love of fairness for all women. I am bursting with every emotion, and my fingertips can not seem to tap the keys fast enough.
Often when I write, a bewilderment shimmers over me; I fall into the sweet vibrations of digits thrusting at keys and visualise a painted picture of the story I am striving to convey. It is as if I am lost in a land of my words. Travelling along an alphabet path, observing every colour in the composition as it pours from my heart to my fingers.
My passions toward women and writing are exquisitely similar. My heart belongs to both. Both empower me and ignite a love in me which blasts me toward the stars. Both are my voice and my strength. And both are why I feel especially overcome with emotion while writing about International Women’s Day.
Perhaps it is the sheer strength women possess that causes my heart to glow with pride. The ability to overcome adversity even when the cards stack up against them.
I am shrouded by the warmth of warrior women before me, yet cloaked in the oppression still upon us today. Colours of Sorrow and Pride are bound to my spirited (not raging) articulate and assertive feminist soul.
I am a woman fervid about writing and composing to help other women.
I am a woman saddened by the venom she has survived at the hands of a biased world and discouraged by inequality in any form.
Essentially, I am a woman who believes in fighting for all women. However, the only way I know how to do that is to continue writing my truths and sharing the truths of others. No matter how raw, or difficult they are to read or hear. Because let’s be honest, if we still have to write raw truths, we still have to fight.
I am obliged as a woman to recognise we haven’t finished our masterpiece. In my mind, the painting I visualise isn’t complete. I think it’s time we splatter that canvass with equality because I am plagued with tinted thoughts lacquered in the blood of a college student raped while walking to her dorm room. My heart breaks knowing the shame she will undergo when somebody asks her if she had too much to drink or what she was wearing. I am terrified she will feel every ache I have once felt and worry about her immensely. I write for her because I was once her, and she and I deserve more than a world saturated with Rape Culture.
The painting I perceive, still conveys tears rolling off a beaten wife’s cheek. Infecting her children with thoughts of women being lesser because Daddy says so. Her mind shattered by verbal abuse with nowhere to go because she fears for her children, her life. I ache to whisp my brush across her story and make it disappear. I write for her and her children because we all deserve to live in a world in which a man knows better than to treat a woman inferior.
I’ve torn my heart with worry, suffering the distress my daughter may have to live through any heartbreak in which she feels less than the capable, talented and strong human she is. I write with passion for women because she deserves a better world than the one my mother raised me in.
I write for the paintings of women everywhere who feel afraid to walk the street alone.
So today, on International Women’s Day, let’s remind us to celebrate women every day. Let’s remember the women who fought for our freedoms while we pursue ours. Let’s finish this brilliant masterpiece in colours so bright every woman’s heart has traces of paint infused with equality written on her soul.
Women are as resilient as any beloved written expression. Words may twist or bend over time, yet somehow they keep their meaning and strength. We have the ability to decorate villages with love and respect for one another. Just as words bring power and stand the test of time, women can move mountains, if we stick together. Precisely why writing about International Women’s Day provides me with pride and honour. For without the women before me who fought for their rights to be equal, I might not be permitted to write my opinion at all.