I woke up to what always feels like an artificial demonstration of women’s empowerment. Messages, memes, blog posts, e-mails: Happy International Women’s Day. Mind you, these were all from my fellow females but how many were friends I know? Two. Guess what? I too didn’t send any messages of “go ladies!” because well, we honestly do this every day. We hold each other up. We pick each other up off the floor. I love all the women who have supported me, and I try in turn to pay it forward.
Women are still battling every day. Reality check: the U.S. women’s national soccer team files a gender discrimination lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation today. In 2015, nine months after lifting the Women’s World Cup trophy, Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Becky Saurbrunn and Hope Solo led the same charge (and, said it was on behalf of the whole team).
It’s not all bad news. Remember the quest for equal playing surface that ended with a “pick your battles” rhetoric? Well, the 8th edition of the Women’s World Cup being hosted in Parc Olympique Lyonnais in Lyon, Allianz Riviera in Nice, Stade Oceane in Le Havre, Stade de la Mosson in Montpellier, Roazhon Park in Rennes, Stade du Hainaut in Valenciennes, Stade Auguste-Delaune in Reims, Stade des Alpes in Grenoble, and Stad Jean-Bouin in Paris will all be on… on real grass!
As women, we know every day is by necessity a day we celebrate each other and our accomplishments. Do most of us truly know what this day began as? I’m going to admit I did not. March 8, 1917 was the day women were granted the right to vote in Russia. It then grew into a socialist and communist holiday before the United Nations took it on in 1975 and reinvented it. Look a little below the surface though and you’ll quickly discover even the date and the history surrounding it is debatable. Figures. But I won’t demerit the holiday for that. We need a day.
Just this past Monday, a seasoned journalist (an Emmy Award winning broadcaster who has 20 years at major news networks under her belt) I am lucky to work with at Cedars-Sinai turned to me with her typical wisdom that just oozes out effortlessly, “oh yeah, they always tell you what you cannot do. Remember to work hard and be open to learning. Everyone starts from ground zero.” She does not need me to tell her “Happy International Women’s Day” so I don’t. Instead I decided to write a piece on Diabetes Awareness for an upcoming ADA Alert Day. Stop patting each other on the backs for a day with a single post, and instead get down to working on building each other up every day.
The real work women do for each other is behind the scenes. It’s in the form of regular phone calls or e-mails to check in. It’s the work. It’s the active participation. Social media, for all its merits, is still a passive contribution, especially in the current era where we are flooded with content. Take up your chosen tool and take part in each other’s lives every day.
About the Featured Image Artist, Caroline So:
“Imagination, adventure and emotion are at the heart of Caroline So’s fashion and beauty illustrations, and they’re ingrained in her personality as well. Originally from Southern California, she set off for the Big Apple at 17 with the goal of working in fashion and she hasn’t looked back since. Now she finds herself producing stylish and elegantly whimsical imagery for the biggest names in fashion and beauty, with a portfolio that’s going from strength to strength.” Thank you Caroline!