Women’s Day was a pretty hot topic this year, overshadowed by the ever lovely “without a woman” protest. As a woman, I found countless woman celebrating by skipping work and for the day setting us back 70 years to the days of few women in the workplace, well… you could say I found it counterproductive. I celebrated International Woman’s Day by waking up early and doing my job. A job in some ways no one else could do that day. A job that involved directly standing up for protecting women as well as children and men too.
Because I could not stand to wait until the afternoon, even though I’m on night shift, I started my celebrations early in the morning at Circuit Court for a Domestic Violence case along with a female Commonwealth Attorney who ALSO showed up to work and female Deputies running the court and female Clerks of the court who all showed up. I spent my morning protesting against domestic violence and the offenders who commit it. Then I returned later for another case and then worked a 12 hour shift. Instead of protesting FOR women, had we not all showed up, there is a good chance that domestic violence offenders would have never had to face any type of accountability for their actions. Had we not shown up, there would have been no one to advocate and fight on behalf of FEMALE victims we were defending that day.
I believe that women are extremely important. I believe the jobs that women do are extremely important, which is why I showed up to work. I also believe that no one is irreplaceable, men and women alike. I consider myself a strong, independent female. I pursued a job which required a strong, independent, and brave person to do the job. I pursued a job that requires me to be so strong that I can be empathetic and tough all in the same day, even in the same minute sometimes. I have encountered sexists, racists, and all other biased and discriminating people in my lifetime, many of which have been women.
I was raised by men who never told me there was something I couldn’t do because I was a female. I didn’t even know there were issues like that until much later. For all I knew, women were the amazing ones taking on the world. I was raised by a daddy and a badass great-grandpa who believed I could do anything and everything and valued me as their brave, strong-willed wild child. My other grandpas thought the world of me and always believed in me. I was gifted with a second daddy down the line who celebrated my strength and independence and demanded I be a warrior princess and never back down from anything because of my gender. I had professors, especially Dr. Bowers, who also invested in me and really believed in me and valued my input. My best encouragers and helpers along this journey have been men who love the strong, independent females in their lives.
I know this isn’t the experience of everyone, but I see so many entitled people out protesting over small matters in the name of “women” when there are seriously issues, atrocious crimes that victimize women, that are left unprotested or talked about. I don’t feel like they are advocating for women. Maybe they are so important that they can get away with protesting and skipping work (where do these people work??), but I’m pretty sure not only would I lose my job, but I would also be letting down my coworkers and potentially putting my coworkers and citizens at risk by leaving the town understaffed. I did happen to notice that the world did not implode because women didn’t show up to work, just like the world wouldn’t implode if a bunch of men didn’t show up to work. Because at the end of the day, we are not as important as we think we are and are all replaceable.
I think Women’s Day is great. I think women should be celebrated. I think we should have a day to remember we are all in this together and celebrate each other instead of compete with each other. I think there should be a men’s day for men to be celebrated too. I want my daughters and sons to be raised knowing they are important and celebrated every day of the year. I want them both to know how valuable and loved and wonderful they are and how much they can make a difference. I really don’t think we need a day for them to know this, but I do still like having a day to reflect the strong women in my life who influenced who I became as well.
Maybe I didn’t protest or do anything special for women’s day. I just put on my uniform and went to work like I do every week. But isn’t that what makes women worth celebrating? It’s the tasks and occupations we perform day in and day out that make us so special and necessary.It’s not when we don’t show up, but the fact we DO show up every day rain or shine. It’s the children we raise, the people we are there for, the jobs we do, and the lives we live investing in others and changing their lives for the better… That’s what makes us so special and valuable in this world.