I have always been very aware that I’d have to fight to be seen as equal. I was 10 when I was the only girl on the ‘co-ed’ hardball team. My male teammates weren’t too happy about having a girl on the team. Having a girl on the team meant we’d lose for sure, right? There’s no way girls could throw, catch or run as fast as them (okay, I probably really couldn’t run as fast as them, but that was just because I had long legs and was as graceful as a hippo) We won all but 2 games that season, and by mid-season I was one of the team. My daughters are still young, but Lady Girl is coming up to those preteen years when people seem to divide the genders and I’m worried. I hope I’ve given her enough strength and confidence over the years to see her self as just as strong and equal to her male peers, but I’m not looking forward to the day she comes home and tells me someone treated her different for being “just” a girl.
As I became a mother gender inequality became increasingly more visible, my husband has commented countless times on how different people treat him when he’s out with our kids (especially the baby) vs how they treat me when I’m out. They coo and aww over how cute it is that he’s taking care of the baby. They smile and act like he’s some sort of God for taking care of our baby. He gets comments about “giving mom a break” and how great it is he’s “babysitting” his children (let that sink in, for real). It actually frustrates him. He doesn’t want to be seen as a babysitter. He is a father, doing father things. He’s not taking his children out just to give me a break, he’s doing it to spend time with his children, to help care for them because they are also his children and he is capable of providing care to them just as much as I am.
Today isn’t just about celebrating women in our lives, it’s about closing the gender gap. About all genders being equal. It’s about empowering our girls so that they have a voice, about giving a voice to those who can’t speak for themselves. Today we stand together for a cause greater than society itself.
Today I’ll be exploring some amazing, strong women with my kids, and talking about gender stereotypes (and how we can stop them) because I believe change starts at home. How do you celebrate Women’s Day? How are you breaking down gender stereotypes? Do you have a Women’s Day post? Feel free to link it below!