Happy International Women’s Day ladies and girls! Today isn’t just International Women’s Day. Today is also “A Day Without a Woman” which the DC Women’s March organizers put out to the masses. This is what today means for women who participate:
- Women take the day off, from paid and unpaid labor
- Avoid shopping for one day (with exceptions for small, women- and minority-owned businesses).
- Wear RED in solidarity with A Day Without A Woman
I am not in a position to strike today. Today will be a day WITH me not without me. I will support #2 and #3 for sure and I’m happy for those who can strike from work with out fear of losing their jobs, who can financially afford to do so or whose employers are supporting the strike. I chose to be a stay at home mother and my daughter must be taken care of all day. Otherwise, who pray tell is going to take care of her? Not only that, I do not want to strike from my job. It doesn’t serve anyone or prove anything in my world. We’re all feminists in this family. I am seen, appreciated and valued. My days are spent teaching my daughter lessons (allllll day long). I’m her teacher. I’m in charge of shaping the woman SHE is going to be. I’m in charge of shaping her character, teaching her empathy and compassion. I’m in charge of showing her right from wrong, how to use a fork, how to count, her ABC’s, how to say please and thank you. I’m in charge of keeping her safe, clean and fed, her brain activated and her heart happy. This is what I do. If anything, I plan to push it a little harder today and I will engage in activities with my daughter that celebrate and empower women and that empower her.
As a mother I know that I teach by example. While I organized the San Diego Women’s March at every turn I reminded myself that Aviva is watching, listening and experiencing me. For months our lives were turned inside out by my commitment to the march. My family supported me beautifully by helping out at home and with my daughter. Aviva got used to “mommy is in a meeting” something completely new to her. I didn’t sleep much for months. I lived and breathed the march. That’s what this leadership commitment required. I still took care of my daughter and my family. They always come first. This was an extremely challenging time. (Major props to working moms trying to juggle it all- I don’t know how you do it)! Taking on a temporary full time plus job on top of my SAHM full time job was intense. My daughter was always watching. She was there, learning. So, no matter if I was negotiating with the Harbor Police, talking to the SDPD, having a meeting with one of our sponsors, running a meeting, on a conference call, writing emails, no matter what I was doing for our march, I did it from love. I lead with love and made certain the energy around my being was just that.
The women’s marches across the nation were incredible. They were monumental. What we did ignited people’s hope, activism and was the catalyst for all the peaceful protesting that’s been happening ever since. These marches came together because of leaders committed to a peaceful march that was inclusive, safe, family friendly and the thousands of volunteers who donated their time and skills to the production of these massive gatherings. None of these marches would have been what they were with out these incredible volunteers. They’re the unsung heros of the marches.
Leading one of these women’s marches was an incredible learning experience for me. One of the greatest lessons I learned was that women have been mistreated for so long and in so many ways that many of us aren’t aware of how we treat EACH OTHER. When women come together to do something and respect and take care of each other, great things can happen. This existed with in the marches but not enough. It’s my hope that the women who were fighting against each other during the organization of these marches can learn that those who lead with love actually pushed this concept all the way through. There needs to be more leading with love and respect for each other. More lifting each other up as we move forward in our fight for women’s rights.
The first thing I said to the almost 80,000 San Diegans as I opened the march was, “Look at all this love!” That is what I felt looking out at everyone. It’s what everyone felt. No matter what comes our way as women we must choose to bring the love. There’s a reason these marches were peaceful and felt like a massive global hug- it’s because we stood united in the light with the love. We must teach our children to choose the light and the love. When a “mean girl” tries to hurt my daughter in some way (it’s inevitable it’ll happen) my hope is she will have the tools to pull from to stay in her heart and do the right thing in the light, with the love. This is the only way she will feel truly good about herself. This is how we create true future leaders- by showing them how to lead by our own example.
On this International Women’s Day, on this “Day Without a Woman” I urge you all to remember, our children are watching us, they are listening. Let us choose to lead with love in our jobs, in our volunteer work and in our homes. It’s on us.
Women- we MUST lift each other up. We must treat each other the way we are fighting for our government to treat us! We are only as authentic as the way we live our own lives, the way we treat each other. We have to take care of each other. I urge you today, no matter how you’ve chosen to spend the “strike” day, that you take time to give some love to women in your life. Give some love to women in need. While you’re at it, give yourself some love too because if you’re going to love with your soul, you must love the soul you live with too.
A special thank you to all the women (and men) who worked on the San Diego Women’s March and to all the people who showed up that day in the light, with the love. I love you. I’m forever touched by you.