I love this quote. It’s a promise that one day there will be no International Women’s Day or WBE certification or gender quotas. I am in favor of that. Only when these props are no longer needed will women have obtained true equality.
As a daughter of a mother, a mother of daughter with a daughter, the sister of a sister, and a girlfriend to many girlfriends, I’m pretty tuned in to what it means to be a woman today. In terms of respect and achievement, it’s a far cry from my young adult days in the 70s. It’s now almost unfathomable to believe that my 1972 marriage vows read differently than my husband’s. Michael repeated after the (male) minister: “I promise to love and honor my wife.” I repeated after the minister: “I promise to love and obey my husband.”
Today on March 8, we celebrate International Women’s Day, the underpinnings of which have been traced to as early as March 8, 1857, when hundreds of women in New York’s garment and textile factories staged a strike in protest of low wages, long working hours, inadequate pay, and the lack of the right to vote. This event is seen as the first recorded organized action by working women anywhere in the world.
Since that time, there have been many attempts by enlightened politicians and activists, across multiple jurisdictions and countries, to raise awareness for society’s unequal view and treatment of women. Bravo to those who’ve worked hard to solve this sticky problem by creating official days, weeks and months in our honor. It’s a start, but molasses flows slowly. As humans, we subconsciously adopt our biases at an early age: Taller is better. Stronger is superior. Smiles show weakness.
But I do believe we are on the horizon of a Sheryl Sandberg moment. Our first female US Vice President was voted into office this past election cycle. Women announcing their candidacy for US President no longer shock us. NASA’s Artemis program will bring us uniquely small lunar footprints and one giant leap for womankind. Walls are crumbling. Glass is shattering. Who knows, perhaps someday soon the world will be balancing equally on its axis.
But until that day, I wish you a happy International Women’s Day and many happy Sheryl Sandberg days to come.