Sisterhood can be a slippery thing. After all, half the population running around on this earth has girl parts, and you’re just not going to like all of them.
But heck, let’s just put that aside for a second and look at a few things of the things women do have in common. Like the fact that if we’d been around 100 years ago, we wouldn’t have been allowed to vote and might not have been able to own property. Some of us would have been sold into arranged marriages and almost all of us would have been denied the same educational and work choices as our male counterparts.
And while this is, sadly, still the case for women in some parts of the earth, for most of you reading this now things have improved a great deal. Which is a hella piece of awesome that ought to have us all making like a toddler and tiara on a krump mission.
We’ve come a long way. And when we look at the long walk that’s been taken, it might be difficult to identify a single suffragette as renowned or universally loved as civil rights activists such as Martin Luther King JR. Whether that’s a symptom of the patriarchy or a facet of womankind in which we prefer to share – rather than take – the credit, what matters more is that we never forget the fact many brave strides were taken by generations of women before us who recognised their own worth, and the men who saw their potential.
Today is International Women’s Day, and whether you’re a dude or dudette, it’s time to contribute to one of the world’s most successful and long running social movements. Feminism is the perfect poster girl for change. She shows us that change is not only possible, it’s positive, violence-free and lasting. And that’s something that all of us, no matter what we do or what bits are between our legs, can throw a woop! woop! into the air for.
This week, global action crew Lane Change (of which I’m a co-founder) are asking you to sign on and give the ladies some love. We have five practical actions that you can take to do your bit for the ladies. Take, for example, mentoring a woman. Last year, only 20% of leadership roles at top private companies worldwide were occupied by women. But by sharing our skills and giving working girls a leg-up, we can help a new generation of women make smart career decisions.
Another really simple thing you can do is celebrate a lady hero in your life. Our Facebook page is already teeming with some incredibly moving stories of strong women who embody the kind of awesomeness that we should tip our hats off to. Women who joined underground resistant movements, women who endured poverty and hardship in the name of love, not to mention fearless movers and shakers in the world of media, law and activism.
I particularly love this story submitted by Hannah Ren from Australia about her badass grannie:
“My lady hero is my grandma who, at the age of 95, still has the spirit of an 18 year old. Growing up in a little village in China, at the age of 15 she rebelled against her parents who wanted to wrap her feet so that she could be fixed for a proper marriage and instead joined the underground revolution. Later she became the first generation of Western-trained doctors to serve as a surgeon in China. She was also one of the first people to come back to her village and bring girls out of the village to enroll them into school. This photo was taken on her 95th birthday with the youngest member of our family, my little niece.”
by Monica Tan