I hadn’t intended to write anything about the International Women’s Day, mostly because I’m still catching up on my work after being sick for a week.
But then I read so many great pieces that I wanted to say something, just a little.
My only request for today is:
Remember those who came before us.
Fantastic women like Mary Wollstonecraft, Josephine Butler, Emeline Pankhurst, Florence Nightingale, Susan B Anthony and so many others who are rarely remembered.
Women who made it possible for me to sit here, 23 years old, with short hair and trousers, expressing my opinion, knowing that I have a place at a university, that I can get a job and earn my own money, that I don’t have to have a male guardian, that I can vote or even become prime minister.
These women, who fought against such oppression, don’t you think that they had to hear how “unwomanlike” they were?
That wasn’t it enough now?
Hadn’t they considered what would happen to the families?
That no man was safe from women like them?
That really, there is a difference between men and women and they should simply accept that?
That their unnatural inclinations and opinions probably were due to a “celibate lifestyle”?
That they were loud, annoying and destroyed things for normal women?
If they had meekly accepted all that and said “Well, I suppose it’s enough now.” and just stopped fighting?
Change is terrifying. It doesn’t happen if you sit quietly in a corner and accept things. If you’re quiet because frankly, you’re annoying people?
Should I tell Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who was shot in the head because she said she wanted to go to school, to be quiet?
Or Astrid Johannson, who was bullied by her own principal because she protested against a sexist painting in her school? Should I tell her to shut up and find something bigger and better to do?
So don’t be quiet.
Don’t let yourself be silenced.
Remembered those who came before, and what they did and really think about whether or not you should stay quiet.
And give a woman you admire some love.