"Well behaved women seldom make history" Laurel Thatcher Ulrich.
In my (humble) opinion, never have truer words been uttered.
Yesterday was International Women's Day (in South Africa it's only in August, but I believe we are well worth the double high-five-recognition!). Contrary to what I believe Women's Day should be - i.e. a day of recognition and acknowledgement to all women who everyday make sacrifices for their families and others - it is actually a day that slips by quietly, with the little acknowledgement there is being give by other women. What's up with that?? The glaringly obvious statement it makes to me is - thank goodness for a strong network of women who lift up, support, encourage and motivate each other!
I was privileged enough to attend a KZN Women in Business meeting on Thursday and to hear Helen Davis - an amazing author from Florida, USA - talk about, amongst other things, her success as a woman in business. She attributed her survival and business successes in the early part of her career, to the strength, support and networking with other women. And looking around the room, and listening to everyone stand up, introduce their business, and as an extra impromptu, describe what changes they would make in themselves or their businesses, there was no doubt that I was in excellent company! What was equally undeniable, was that those who were most successful were the women not scared to take a chance, to go against tradition, against societal norms, against what "good girls"would do, and to "misbehave"in the once predominantly man's-world. (One of Helen's pieces advice for women in business - STOP SHOPPING and become more fiscally responsible! I took note.)
Hats off to all those out there who go against the grain in order to make history! From women who have left the comfort of a steady, guaranteed income of a career in making someone else's dreams come true, to those women who have put their own dreams aside for that very same steady income (yes, as a woman, I am allowed to be contrary!!). From all those battling the daily guilt of being a working mom, to those battling the daily guilt of being a stay-at-home mom. From women standing up for what they firmly believe in because the cause is greater than the consequence, to those women for whom the consequences outweigh the principle of the cause. Hats off to all women who compete not only against patriarchy, but against other women too - while at the same time maintaining their compassion, empathy and respect for all.
Please don't get me wrong. This blog is not meant as a diatribe against men, but rather a shout out to all women who forget their value and worth. I am fortunate to have a husband who celebrates my successes with me, and encourages and supports me as much as I need. But there are many, many many women out there who are not so fortunate. International Women's Day should not be a passive "You-go-girl-high-five", but a real acknowledgement of how bloody amazing we as women are! In South Africa, we have another chance in August to get this right - so watch this space!!!
To all those awesome women in my life - my mom, mom-in-laws, sister, sister-in-law, cousins, and my special, amazing circle of girlfriends - always remember to support each other, to give credit where credit is due, to lift each other up when needed, to sing each others praises when ever we can (lets be honest - we have pretty loud voices when we try!) and never forget you are FANBLOODYTASTIC!!! I'm Just Saying...