Tuesday, 8 March 2016

i'm every woman

Copyright: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/profile_bolina'>bolina / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

When this week comes around there are reams of online reading raising the profile and highlighting the names and careers of women past, present and future. We are educated about the challenges, the successes and the aspirations of the woman in the street, on the screen, in our homes, in power - of their lives and the lives of others.
Surveys and Twitter feeds ask us to nominate the leading women in our world; who has inspired us and who are our role models?

The answer to this is easy for me and I'd often trip off a few names; Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, Malorie Blackman, Michelle Obama, Shonda Rimes, Caitlin Moran, Sophie Okonedo, Malala Yousafzai, Maggie Alphonsi, Kelly Holmes, Maggie Aderin-Pocock If I could create a wallpaper with their faces on I would decorate my house as a daily reminder to my daughters of what they could achieve and who's lives they can be inspired by.

This year I'm thinking a little differently. My career break has given me back a wealth of time, which in turn has opened my eyes and ears to the women in my family and friendship circles that are just wonderfully amazing and I love that they are part of my 40+ years.

To the women who share my bloodline. You are the women who have smiles that open up a history of motherhood and sisterhood and parenthood. When oceans and motorways and disagreements have divided our families you have manoeuvred mountains to bring us closer together so that our children may learn from our past in order to secure their future and also watch us dance and groove in our inimitable way. We are fiercely protective together, lovingly gentle and wise between our generations. I love you all.

To the women I have met through my decades. You are the women that share my tragedies of hairstyles, that approved (or disapproved) of menfolk, that lent shoulders when those menfolk were not the right ones, that raised my spirits when I was sinking, that pushed me higher when I was choosing to settle.  When I shutdown in radio silence you are the women that text-nag me, that remind me you are there, that shake my happy out of the gloom.  We are hilarious together and without words can start a belly laugh or cut a side-eye about the one, same thing. I love you all.

At birthdays, at marriages, at funerals, in the classrooms, in the pubs and clubs, in the coffeeshop, in the park, at the school gate, in the office, online, in your house and always in my house you have stood with me and I hope you will grant me the honour of standing with you - in our Wonder Woman power pose - today and tomorrow.

Happy International Women's Day.