Last Tuesday was International Women’s Day. Allow me to shamefully admit, that until this week this is a holiday I take about as seriously as Middle Child Awareness Day. The birth of social media has in my opinion brought with it a holiday for everything. And with it, I’m guilty of awareness fatigue. If I had to guess though, I’m not the only one.
Shame on me though, for many reasons. Thankfully, I had two beautiful reminders come my way from two different countries to remind me quite clearly how lucky women in the United States are.
First came by way of my company. Some of the celebration emails they issue aren’t as worth considering as others, but the series of emails that came throughout the day highlighting women in managerial positions within the organization was inspiring. Having recently visited colleagues in India, I heard about how uncommon it remains for women to drive themselves, among many other equalities and conveniences we take for granted. Even so, I smiled briefly as I deleted the notes and moved on to my next task. So it goes though with a hectic workday.
It wasn’t until late in the day when I was picking Luke up from daycare that I got the splash of cold water to the face that I really had coming to me. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but Luke’s daycare is run entirely by Armenian women. They’ve all immigrated to the country, some have lived her for many years while one came to the US right around the time Luke started there.
Anyhow, on Tuesday, the head teacher of the class handed me Luke’s art project of the day. And she said, “Mommy, we have a special gift for you. Today is March 8th. It is International Women’s Day. When I was a little girl, growing up in Armenia, this day meant so much to me and brought me hope.”
Kat, I have to tell you, I couldn’t even speak. I am sure I said thank you but my mind was reeling with how ignorant I can be. (And I don’t mean just me with that)
I vacillate wildly from feeling so feminist that I don’t want someone to hold an elevator for me, to wanting to be escorted when I’m dressed up for an event. I have faced several instances in my still short career of sexual discrimination, and one of the most egregious was from a woman. I vote for, donate to and fight for women’s issues. And I still forgot.
We are lucky. We are equal. And we have a lot of work to do. A lot of work, to bring everyone along. I’m so grateful for the reminder.