"I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands, you should be able to throw something back."
I can remember asking myself questions as a child, why do girls have to clean, cook, and do the chores while the boys play outside. I remember been quite the rebel and the headache for my parents. I would purposely mess up in the kitchen while my mother was trying to teach me to cook only for her to get so mad and frustrated at my inadequacy, she would literally kick me out. I would cry until I got to the door than I happily ran outside to join my brothers and their friends to play sports or simply in some form get away from having to do "girly work." Sorry, mom.
This made me dive into a world of books and stories about women who were willing to stand in their voice and define a version of womanhood I could relate to. I vividly remember becoming enamored with Maria Felix, she was the first woman I read and learned about. I would watch her movies, read her life story, follow her interviews. Her freedom from labels and definition of what a woman should be was something I could relate to, that was the first time as a young girl in elementary when I felt acknowledged in some form. Although I did not admire her ideas on family, nevertheless I admired her ability to stand up on her terms, power, define her story, and voice without the need to feel like she had to say sorry, apologize or ask permission.
In history and formal education, we learn much about the contributions of men. Although I appreciate it, I am often in question as to why we only see a short glimpse of women in history. Women are often given a short section, a paragraph, or a description of a "rare moment" in history. They are given the exception label when women throughout history were a big part as much and at times more than men in holding their own in terms of intellect, leadership, and ability to create and promote change. We often see women labeled as bitches, nasty, cold hearted, insensible, manly, and rare when demonstrating leadership potential similar or superior in some form to what society expects of them.
Women have been for years displayed as a disease or entity to be silenced and dominated when portraying signs of strength and voice beyond baking cookies in the kitchen. This is not to diminish the worth and work of stay at home moms, they work just as much as those of us contributing through our professional careers.
This post and work is to acknowledge the voice and place of all women stay at home and working moms.
We are multifaceted, we are mothers, daughters, sisters, friends, activists, wives, leaders, doctors, students, artists, scientists, politicians, and we matter, our voice matters. We come in many shapes, sizes, colors, and we are multifaceted and diverse.
My work and voice, my posts, and this book in particular, is to empower and encourage the voice of girls and women.
I want to take a moment to thank the men who stand by the side of these women, who see beyond their personal ego and define their manhood through their intellect and not a standard. The men who are secure enough in themselves to understand that women matter. Thank you.
So here is too strong women, may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them, may we praise them, may we acknowledge them, may we encourage them, may we stand together, may we thrive.
"I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass."
— MAYA ANGELOU
Feminist adjective-advocating social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men.
Feminist noun-an advocate of such rights.
definitions provided by dictionary.com
Thank you to the men and women standing for progress regardless of your gender, sexual preference, and color of your skin, because we matter.