Happy International Women’s Day!
Only one day feels so inadequate; just like only a month for Black History??
Today has been a good day to sit and think. (And write.) And as always, drink copious amounts of coffee.
This past year I had an epiphany/realization/re commitment to being unapologetically intersectional feminist. I’ve always been a self-labeled feminist, but my idea of what that means has become clearer, and more inclusive over the years. (When I was seven, I simply wanted all the women to win at jeopardy, and all the princesses to slay dragons a la The Hero and the Crown – Robin McKinley; or even save the princes like in Ella Enchanted – Gail Carson Levine.)
Sometimes even I am questioning why I’ve just signed up for 2.5ish years in a country that will ask me to give up some of my freedoms as an unmarried woman. The only answer I have is that “it’s worth it”. Whatever “it” is – this experience I’m on the edge of.
It feels like I’m about to jump out of an airplane for the first time, hoping that the parachute in my bag is packed correctly. I know I’ll be able to pull the handle to open the chute, but I’m hoping I have the guts to jump out of the plane with my eyes open, enjoying the ride. I’ve read stories of other people’s experiences, I’ve heard about the common challenges, I’ve visited places without running water or electricity for a few weeks; but there’s really nothing that can prepare me for what this transition is going to be like. I’m coming to terms with that. I’ve mostly made peace with that.
I’m really trying.
Anyway, in honor of International Women’s Day, to celebrate small victories, here are some women breaking ceilings that I didn’t hear enough about.
Catherine Cortez Masto is in the Senate representing Nevada. She’s the first Latina senator, and she’s the granddughter of a Mexican immigrant.
(photo credit: NBC)
Tammi Duckworth, in the Senate for Illinois – she’s the first female senator who has seen combat, and the first Thai-American woman ever elected to Congress.
Kamala Harris – She is only the second African-American woman ever elected to the Senate. Representing California, she’s also the first Indian-American senator. Before being elected to the Senate, she served as Attorney-General for CA.
Pramila Jayapal is representing Washington State, and she’s the first Indian American in the House. She immigrated to the US at 16.
(photo credit – Seattle Times)
Stephanie Murphy is the first Vietnamese-American woman in the House of Representatives, representing Florida.
Other notable women I enjoy following:
Samantha Bee, because everything.
Ana Navarro, Republican Strategist, because she’s a fearless leader in calling Trump on his bullsh*t. Almost everyone else I follow, I follow because I agree with them on policy. She is very clear about what are policy disagreements between political parties, and what are human rights, civil rights, basic common decency and constitutional rights being trampled.
Valarie Kaur – powerful, powerful speaker. If you are ever feeling hopeless, watch her on YouTube.
There are so many more – from Audre Lourde to Roxane Gay; Linda Sarsour to Caitlin Moran. And Jenny Lawson. (The book Let’s Pretend This Never Happened made me sob from laughter. Sobbing. Tears running down my cheeks, clutching my stomach from laughter. Reading that book is some serious self-care.)
The list is endless. So I’ll leave you with a playlist of inspiring TED Talks, if you’re interested.