To the women who raised me, my mother who birthed me, my grandmothers who inspired me with their courage, my step-mother who nurtured me, my sisters who tortured and supported me, my ex-mil who was kind to me, thank you.
To the women who came before and forged the way, who went more than the extra mile to show that femaleness is a neutral condition in the search for competence and not a barrier, who suffered in ways I don't understand and still put one foot in front of another, to the women who fed the children in the desert on the run from persecution, to the immigrants who brave and braved the oceans and the borders in the search of a better life for their families, thank you for your example and your sacrifices. My life and the lives of others are better because of you.
To the women who have become my family, who laugh and celebrate with me, who show up and help when things are rough, who remind me to be patient and curious, who tell me to check my privilege and stand with me when I am being dismissed, who show their strength and courage and beauty in undeniable, if sometimes unconventional ways. thank you.
To the women who have struggled to accept their bodies, because they lost a breast to cancer or were born women with male bodies or they wish they were stronger or one of the many reasons we struggle to accept ourselves physically. Who have to go through an obstacle course to pee or be seen or appreciated or walk up the stairs, who have shown me that despite the media's influence, we are all beautiful in our way and that our beauty is more than our appearance. And when I am sure my body is too round or short or sickly or my hair is too red or my skin is too freckled, they help me see that I don't have to be something else. To you, thank you.
To the women who show up and do their life in the face of racism and poverty and family illness and exhaustion and rape and ableism. Who somehow defy the odds and make it through one more day, who are often dissatisfied with their own performance because they don't really see the mountain they hike every day because it would be too much to even think about it. Thank you, for your example and your strength and for sometimes letting me stand next to you or with you and be part of your journey.
Happy International Women's Day.