Sunday, 1 March 2015

International Women’s Day – Make it Happen


In the lead up to International Woman’s Day – Make it Happen (March 8, 2015) I was compelled to write a piece that extols the worth of feminist values.  In these times, where the “dumbing down”, the social media bullying and the pervasive, crass sexualization of young girls, is regarded (sadly - by many) as entertainment, it really does (more than ever) “take a village” to inspire and lift up our girls to aspire to become strong, accomplished, liberated adults.  Whether you are a parent, a relative, a friend of the family, or simply someone who sees a child in pain, losing her way – empower the girl. 

empower the girl:
Teach her to light a lantern and hold it high, to tell the truth, to own up to her mistakes, to listen and never stop questioning, and to be respectful, empathetic and fair in her dealings.

empower the girl:
Encourage her to find serenity in solitude and introspection; but, allow her to explore her world and be exposed to – and tolerant of – new ideas, so that she is inspired to think, create and innovate.

empower the girl:
Talk to her about making intelligent choices – with an open heart – for a strong, nurturing woman, never surrenders to being a victim.

empower the girl:
Sprinkle positive affirmations throughout her life so that she remains true to herself, puts forth her best efforts with confidence, and recognizes the good qualities in others.

empower the girl:
Seek her counsel and advice, admire her laughter and her wit, tell her that she is wonderful and give her unconditional love and respect.

empower the girl.
   
"The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights" Gloria Steinem

"Equal means equal.  Older women get less money. The highest percentage of children living in poverty are in female-headed households.”  Patricia Arquette 

 
notes:  Yep, that’s me pictured, walking the line, at a legal Canadian Union of Public Employees job action, shortly before my retirement.  CUPE is Canada’s largest union and women comprise over half of the membership. 

Pictured with me, is the WONDERFUL all-grown-up-girl in my life – my daughter, Brynn (probably the most empowered woman that I know) joining me, in solidarity.  She is a feminist, an activist and an organizer on several Provincial and Federal political campaigns – and (the picture says it all) she is a dedicated Labour Unionist.  As I mentioned previously, I really do believe, in the words of Hillary Clinton:  It takes a village.  In the Acknowledgments in her Master’s Thesis, Brynn paid tribute to the many, many people who have influenced her life in a positive way.  She wrote (in part):  “I would like to thank my mother, father and brothers, for believing in me and always making me feel that I had the strength to achieve anything that I put my mind to.”  What a joy it is to have such a woman in one’s life!  AND she and her husband host the most incredible dinners – to boot!  Thoughtful, empowered women Make Good Things Happen! 

photos: #1 - Symbol for International Women’s Day (March 8).  The Theme for 2015 is Make it Happen.
 
#2 – Mother and Daughter – Walking the Line in Solidarity. 

© 2015 Wendy Bourke  

18 comments:

  1. May I share this post, Wendy? I find it a powerful message that needs passing around ... you've done a good job of putting to words my feelings on the challenge for women and girls, world-wide. I know it's a cliche, but I live by the the adage - " The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world." The sooner women embrace that adage and stand up to defend the premise, the sooner the world will approach peace and true equality. Just sayin'

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    1. Yes, by all means, please do share, Susan. And I would love to see others address this issue on their blogs. I, too, agree with the adage: "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world." That includes the Dads, too, of course.

      Personally, I find the message that mainstream media is putting out to the current youth generation, as well as the willingness of our society, as a whole, to tolerate and allow our children to be inundated with demeaning, superficial, shallow, self-absorbed stereotypes, a sad disgrace. Our girls deserve better.

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  2. An excellent post Wendy ~ I believe in empowerment of girls and I hope my daughter is blessed with the same gift ~ Beautiful picture of you and your daughter ~ You must be very proud, smiles ~

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    1. Very proud! It took a while to edit down my note about her accomplishments. She is such a lovely person, I have to restrain myself from shouting it from the rooftops. Though, I'm sure many Moms feel the same way about their daughter(s). Smiles.

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  3. Wendy, what a wonderful poem this is; and I really enjoyed seeing the photo of you and your daughter. Perhaps it is true...like mother, like daughter. Smiles. I think women have become more and more empowered, but there is still room for improvement. We still need to keep empowering girls in school to become the woman they can become! Your words are empowering...thank you.

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  4. you've laid the path for the young girls to become empowered women with these amazing words Wendy...and wow really enjoyed the mother-daughter photo...beautiful...

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    1. Thank you, Mary and Sumana. The photo is one my husband's favorite pictures. (His wife and daughter love it, too.) Smiles

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  5. Such beautiful thoughts and may all of us followw these:)

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  6. some strong thoughts on how to care for and enable/empower young ladies...they need strong role models...ha, its a cool pic as well...

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  7. Thank you for writing and posting this - and for sharing your picture and story. Definitely a cause I believe in, and I like how you've laid out your thoughts. Would it be okay to share this one on Facebook on March 8 (with your name and a link to your blog)?

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    1. Thanks Janet. Yes, please feel free to share this on Facebook. That would be wonderful! Can you believe it - I still do not have a Facebook account. Most days, I can barely find the time to keep my blog going. Ha!

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  8. Oh yes.. I love this.. so much better if we could have the same possibilities.. and empowerment, to find your own strength is the way to do it.. and we have this one day per year so it makes total sense to me.

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    1. As a reminder of course.. we need to repeat it all days of the year. I had just pressed post when I realized how it came out...*smile*. My wife is very much empowered and that actually empower me as well..

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  9. What a beautiful and powerful poem. I am so very lucky to have such a talented mom. You did indeed empower me. You gave me all the tools I needed to hold my head up and make my way and you were always there to provide a soft landing if ever I fell. Happy International Women's Day mom!

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    1. Thank you, Brynn. It was my joy to be there for you. Over the years, many times you have had my back, also. And I think that is how it should be between Mothers and Daughters. Happy International Women's Day to you!

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  10. This made me feel empowered as I read it! I don't have daughters, but when granddaughters come (if so, ha) I will be at the ready to empower them! We definitely need the voice of women in the world. Love this share, Wendy.

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  11. As a male, I love this post as well because I consider myself a feminist. I truly believe women are ten times stronger than men and they don't get their due for that...

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