Today is International Women’s Day.
Yes, it is actually a thing and it is actually celebrated in many different countries.
No, it isn’t made up by some conspiracy, man hating group to further “the leftist” agenda.
When I lived in Europe I would often get flowers or small presents. Students and even strangers would do small favors for me.
Women in different cultures celebrated in different ways, but one thing remained the same. They were honored. Their communities “saw” them. They were affirmed.
Never once did someone say ” That’s annoying.”, “That’s privilege.”, “Why do you get to feel special?”
You see, in so many countries around the world they realize what we in America haven’t seemed to grasp- That celebrating women doesn’t demean men.
So to experience the pushback that I’ve gotten today, for simply wearing red is tiring.
Or maybe I’m just plain tired.
I’m tired of pretending that things are ok.
You see teachers carry burdens so much heavier than an armload of homework.
We’re mandated reporters of sexual abuse and assault.
We watch mothers struggle to feed and clothe their children.
We watch the system discard working adults as parent’s who “don’t care”, because they can’t come to parent teacher conferences.
We take care of other people’s children while daycare workers get minimum wage to watch our own.
These issues are all women’s issues.
So while I would normally stay home, today I’m at work.
Today especially, I fight for my girls.
For their opportunity to come to this country, despite racist and discriminatory “Presidential” edicts.
For the opportunity to escape female genital mutilation.
For the opportunity to marry who they love.
For their opportunity to dress in a manner that represents themselves, without “asking for it.” if someone thinks their tank top is too low.
For the opportunity to wear a hijab and fully cover without “asking for” racist and bigoted threats.
I’m working today because students get sexually assaulted at school too and I need to be there for them.
I work so that my daughter will see and know a strong woman.
Today I couldn’t strike, but I stand with those who did.
Until every woman can feel safe in every place she occupies.
Until not one of my friends can name, with ease, times they were harassed or assaulted.
Until pink collar jobs like teaching are paid what they’re worth.
Until all women are paid what their worth.
Until I don’t have to teach my daughter to walk with her keys in her fingers.
Until all those who identify as women are safe.
I work and strike for you.