On March 8th the world will be celebrating International Women's Day. I have a personal connection with this day, as every year since when I can remember my dad would always make sure that he would give my mom flowers as a sign of appreciation for her. Although, the important thing is that my father doesn't only show his appreciation just on this one day. He shows appreciation for my mom every single day, thanking her for the dinner she cooked, helping her clean the house, making her coffee when she gets up in the morning, etc. Small things that matter. Thinking about this now, I have started to wonder how do we - as an international community - show our appreciation for women on an everyday basis, not just only in March during "their month"?
Women's history is, to say the least, an incomplete and undocumented one. Looking back, there are so many instances where women played key roles in shaping the world that they lived in - but those facts were not documented due to the fact that they were women. And for honestly a long time, I didn't notice the lack of women in history pre... oh I don't know, around 1920 is when women start to really show up in history. But this year, while taking a APUSH class, I was lucky enough to get a really good teacher that is very well versed in women's history, going out of her way to really dig up the untold stories of so many women that honestly have shaped democratic and economic principles of to the modern world. (Thank you Mrs. Baniewicz for that). But, my question is - why does it take someone extra time to find parts of history that are obvious? That's like someone not writing in the date that World War II started because it was "complicated".
Another thing is that we also have started to gloss over contemporary women's history -women that are making history today in our world. What got me thinking about this was Gimlet Media's season two of the podcast Start-Up, where they follow women co-founders of the app Dating Ring. During the podcast, one of the female co-founders opens up about how she was offered investments into her company in exchange for dates and setups with people in her company. This podcast was released in 2015... only 5 years ago. And the sad thing is, that this is still going on right now.
The world that women have to live in is... well, I can only see it from an outsider's perspective. But also as an outsider, I know that I can be someone that aids in creating a world where women don't "have" to live in it, but they want to live in. And one place to start when it comes to creating such a world is by appreciating women on a daily. Ask those women really close to you how they want you to treat them. Do they want you to hold the door open for them? In my case, I asked my girlfriend and some of my close female friends how they feel when I let them go through the door first, and they are have been very open about it making them feel really good and cared for. But this is something very specific to the community of women that you find yourself in. So start opening a dialogue with those women and start creating spaces where they can tell you what they want to see in their worlds.
Mind you, this is all written from a male perspective - so I invite you, as women, to come to enter the discussion. It's your month and your world.