It’s International Women’s Day in case you hadn’t noticed.
Let’s get the usual shit out of the way:
- International Men’s Day is on November 19th
- If you’d like it to be more heavily covered in the media try a) knowing when your own day is, b) organising something, c) not expecting someone else to do all the work.
- Who do you think organises IWD? That’s right, women do. Are you expecting them to organise your day too?
- Yes. I know. Not all men.
Back to the women. My irony klaxon is all worn out.
Women today were encouraged to go on strike, not spend any money and wear red. I have worn red but I can’t go on strike because I’m the only one around today, although I am going to make everyone help me cook the dinner. I did spend money because the food I wanted to eat was not in the house and I might be a feminist and a great supporter of women’s rights, but I am also greedy and decadent.
I’ve spent the morning with my amazing, wise friend Kim who has been helping me deal with some of my mental health issues. That seems like a good way to spend any morning, but particularly special on IWD.
Thinking about how grateful I was to have Kim in my life has made me think of other people who I’m also grateful for, and I was struck, not for the first time, by how many of them are women. I am so lucky to be surrounded by and inspired by so many brilliant women and today seems like the perfect day to thank them.
Firstly to my amazing mum for being brilliant and for teaching me so much and for always being there. And to my gran, Doris, who although she is no longer here, has never been more present than at the times when I am in my full on woman power ROAR. To my beautiful, brilliant perfect daughters, Tilly and Tallulah who could not be more different and yet are both my favourites and who are both always right. You complete me and inspire me to up my game because I always want you to be proud of me. To Suki for loving my brother. To Lisa for loving us all and letting us keep Jason.
To Andrea, my oldest friend, who challenges me, supports me and puts up with me and who is always up for a heated debate. To Rachel, heart of my heart, who filled it, broke it, mended it and refilled it. To Kate who didn’t kill me when I went alcoholic AWOL in Germany and for which I will be eternally grateful. To Kate who turned her life around and became the author she always wanted to be and who is living proof of all the things. To Claire who doesn’t realise either how strong or how fragile she is and who is a rock and a ball breaking, raku loving mischief maker who I am looking forward to retiring with very much indeed.
To Kaz who is this woman can and does and is. To Jess who is the fiercest of warriors and the nicest of people and whose SOTD stories make my day. To Jane who gives even when she’s running on empty. To Jenn, who doesn’t have the words but who has all the dinners and all the love. To Sasha who is the busiest woman in the world but who always finds the time for kindness no matter what is going on. To Ros who triumphs on two continents and who continues to rise despite everything. To Emma whose words speak to my heart. To Danielle whose anger and eloquence is a joy. To Nicole for the love and cakes. To Rosalind who I know, even after all these years would drop everything if I picked up the phone and asked for help.
To Lynn for never giving up. To Helen who has given feminist zealotry a new lease of life in the best way. To Kim for wisdom and love and the best party games. To Anne for all the woo woo in the world. To MaryAnn who is all the passion and who talks about giving up but never does. To Shirley for her resilience and compassion. To Liz and Doris, training the warrior women of tomorrow. To Shami for always being kind. To Bonnie for care packages and for going on the women’s march on crutches. To Marya for always making me laugh and for bringing a bit of dancing back into my life. To Michelle who thinks she is broken, but can’t see that the gaps are where the light shines through yet.
To Gina who has never been a bad apple to me and who is the best of all fruits. To Nicki who is the yin to my yang and whose skills with the glue gun know no bounds. To Carmen who is beautiful and who is helping to teach me how to survive. To Lizzie who is a real life superhero. To Hana who is kicking feminist ass in the Czech Republic in the most peace loving way ever. To Lizzie who never, ever gives up but who still hasn’t made me a cape yet. To Saj who conquers the world in six inch heels and is the most generous woman I know.
To Emma and Denise and Claire and Nancy. You are brilliant, powerful women I am proud to share my time with. We are already changing the world. I look forward to changing it some more with you. To Holly and Lee who started off marching as strangers and ended up as friends. This is how all the world will work one day. To Gay who is now in the gang whether she likes it or not. To Casey who is quietly healing all the wounds and who has a perfect soul.
To every single one of you who has read my words over the last decade on this blog or Twitter or Facebook. To every single one of you who has taken the time to talk to me and message me over the years and who has challenged me, supported me, cared about me, turned up for me and made me laugh and cry in equal measure. I love you. You inspire me. Let’s keep this conversation going. Let’s keep connecting, spreading the message, being there for each other, speaking out, speaking up, turning up.
You are the best.