I realize in writing this blog I could potentially alienate a certain demographic of readers, and truth be told, that’s fine with me. This blog was never created to appease the masses, win an election or a popularity contest.
Today is International Women’s Day.
This is not a typical holiday to be celebrated in my personal life. I’ve never subscribed to the “feminist” mantra and if I’m being honest, I feel like that sect of people have hijacked this holiday to a certain extent.
Here’s a little history on the holiday for you:
The Suffragettes of the early 1900s celebrated the first International Women’s Day in 1911. “International Women’s Day belongs to all communities everywhere – governments, companies, charities, educational institutions, networks, associations, the media and more. Whether through a global conference, community gathering, classroom lesson or dinner table conversation – everyone can play a purposeful part in pressing for gender parity.” 
The chord of irony that is struck for me is that even its founding, the International Women’s Day was to be a day of equality inspired by inclusion. Often times, unfortunately to the Suffragettes who championed this day, this day becomes more about divisive rhetoric and exclusion than anything else.
That’s not to say that the need for exposure to inequality doesn’t exist. So please, hop off that soapbox before you set sail in that tailwind.
The World Economic Forum released a Gender Gap Report in 2017 that showed that “gender parity” is over 200 years away in our society.
Gender parity is measured today by a socioeconomic index (GPI) which focuses on education access for males and females. The GPI is released by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), a specialized agency within the United Nations based in Paris, France. For 71 years, UNESCO has been studying the accessibility of education for women at every level. The GPI is often times used to measure the progress of developing countries. The goal of UNESCO, and those who study the GPI, is to eliminate the disparities in primary and secondary education and emphasizes the plight of girls in unequal access in third world countries. 
There is obviously a “gap”that exists in our world today and in this day and age, that should not be the case. I have so much respect for women, and men, who are championing that cause.
The fact that there are men, women, boys and girls in this world today that have no access to clean water, and basic life necessities like that is outrageous. The idea that we sit comfortably in our houses with heat and water, lights and air conditioner, with food in our refrigerators and there are children in third world countries who’ve never had clean water should outrage us as the blessed citizens of a first world country.
But alas, I feel like days like today are hijacked by memes of women with different skin tones and hair colors in their Wonder Woman costumes. Instead I’m reminded of the words of Diana Prince in Wonder Woman, “I used to want to save the world, this beautiful place. But the closer you get, the more you see the great darkness within.
The truth is there are not enough hours in the day, weeks in the year to accomplish all this world demands of us. I find myself frustrated on days like today that are capitalized on with a catchy hashtag, or meme, instead of dedicated to a specific need, a specific cause, meeting the tangible needs of one woman who will go without instead.
It’s a hard line to tow to balance frustration in the bastardizing of a holiday and celebrating the lives of those who inspire us to do more, to do better.
There are countless women in my own life today that I’d love to applaud and shout from the rooftops their impact on my life. Women like my mother who has taught me the value of hard work, passion for a cause, and dedication to those in need. Women like my best friends who are CPAs, stay-at-home-moms, pediatricians, Press Secretaries, lawyers, writers, art teachers and yes, even some multi level marketers thrown in there. There are the women who taught me in school growing up who still play a loving role in my life. There are women who have been my friend since the 6th grade, y’all I’m not even embarrassed to tell you that’s been 24 years. Some friendships are just that beautiful. The impact of women in my life has been strong, beautiful, sometimes painful, and always empowering.
And there are women that have impacted me from afar. Women that I’m hoping to meet one day. But for now, I’ll keep the wine on tap until that day arrives. Women like Jen Hatmaker, Rachel Hollis, Jessica Honnegar, Adrian Wood, Glennon Doyle, Abby Wambach, and the incomparable, Brene Brown.
These women likely wouldn’t agree with every word of this blog, but they would take off their earrings and heels and fight anyone for my write to write and share anything I’m passionate about.
And I think that’s the thing.
I’m about inclusion, at every level. We don’t have to look the same, love the same, worship the same, think the same, write the same, speak the same, dress the same, or do anything the same. I’m all about making everyday a day we champion those around us. Not just women. Not just men. Not just Oreo fans, after all, for pete-sake, it was National Oreo Day this week.
I get tired of days, movements, events, etc…that actually exclude just by their existence. I saw today someone said, “when is International Man’s Day?” And yes, there is one, November 19th. There’s a “holiday” for everyone and everything, why can’t every single day be about every single person. Hard stop.
The International Women’s Day theme this year is #PressforProgress that is focused on creating a stronger momentum around gender parity. The goal this International Women’s Day is to create a strong call to motivate and unite friends, colleagues, and entire communities to think, act and be, gender inclusive.  And I can concur that the fact that we might not reach out “gender parity” for 200 years is absurd. Completely onboard, so save the hate mail.
There should be equality for women.
There should be equality for ALL women. Even Republican women. Even Trump Administration women. Even FoxNews women. Even Conservative women. Even Pro-Life women. Even pro gun women. ALL women. Democratic women. Liberal women. Feminist women. Pro choice women. Anti gun women. CNN women…yes, that’s a hard pill to swallow for some folks. ALL women.
Like I said earlier, I don’t write this blog to win a popularity contest. It’s really just my place to say what I want and try to flush out thoughts that I have. I love the respectful conversations the posts start. I despise the disrespect and hateful rhetoric that often ends up in my mailbox. But that’s part of it.
I want to raise my little boy to know that all people, man or woman, deserve respect and equality and I want him to live his life with that notion regardless of what Hallmark style holidays are created.
So today, on International Women’s Day, here’s to you ladies, the single ladies, the married ladies, the nuns, the teachers, the lawyers, the accountants, the doctors, the stay-at-home-moms, the multi-level marketers, the students, the dreamers, the elderly, the dark, the light, the heavy and the skinny, the athletic and the scholars, the tall, the short, the red heds and the blondes, the educated, the drop outs, the wives, the mommas, the aunts, the daughters, the sisters, the grandmas, the friends and the fans.
May you feel empowered and encouraged for all the other 364 days of the year, you deserve respect and equality on every day not just March 8th.