In case you missed it, today is International Women’s Day and, timed accordingly by the organizers of the Women’s March on Washington, A Day Without A Woman.
Women were encouraged to go on strike today from all paid and unpaid work if feasible. Many organizations recognize this isn’t possible for everyone and promoted their own movements, such as March On! Texas, which suggested you support women-owned businesses instead (love this idea).
And they all encouraged women (and men!) to wear red today in solidarity. I didn’t strike because I leave in two days to take 25 college kids to D.C. and New York and I have stuff to do, but I did wear red. In fact, I spent about 30 minutes this morning pulling together an outfit out of the paltry red tops I own. My husband thought I was crazy (and I’m still seething that I didn’t gently prod him to wear red as well).
I know wearing a certain color isn’t enough. And I’m still trying to figure out how to be a change agent during this volatile time. But in the meantime, I read some amazing essays this week by amazing women writers that have stopped my in my tracks and reminded me that change on a grand scale is important (vital), but it begins by strengthening the relationships around us.
As this day comes to a close (I blame the giraffe for my delay in finishing the post), I wanted to share these meaningful words in five essays as a reminder that changing the world doesn’t have to mean getting arrested for blocking traffic instead of working. I imagine some areas are more applicable to you than others, but they all speak to me:
Marriage (cue the ugly cry for a beautiful and heartbreaking love story).
Tribe Member (the mom tribe, though I could probably work on my Judaism too).
And of course, parenting.
It’s not that I think I’m necessarily failing at any of these things (well, probably on any given day I am in one or more areas, but I take an aggregate approach to life). But among the marches, strikes, rallies, town halls and CNN breaking news alerts, it’s nice to remember change starts with the people sitting next to us.