It was an exhilarating and exhausting event that left me excited and hopeful that women might actually be treated equal one day. This large and very accomplished gathering was the first public demonstration that women matter in this country. I know that might sound bitter or tough or defensive, but let’s face it, everyday women are abused, battered and seriously compromised in their ability to be treated as an equal in all definitions of the word equal.
I was telling a very smart, savvy, successful woman and a good friend of mine about the event and she listened attentively, and then asked, “Now what? What will change? What are the next steps? What can I do?” As usual, she asked the right questions.
I have given her questions a great deal of thought and I have reflected on all that I heard and saw and soaked in. There is money to be raised and programs to be developed and the list is VERY long, but the next steps for all women moved to action can do for themselves go like this:
- Speak up and tell the world:
- If you need help
- If you don’t understand
- If you have been harmed or violated
- If you have an idea or a solution
- If you have done something extraordinary
- If you ….
- Speak up and call them on it:
- If someone degrades or diminishes you
- If your spouse/partner does not equally share the load
- When a colleague asks you if you are “upset” or tells you to “smile”
- Know who you are, know your value, like who you are – take the time to get comfortable in your own skin. It’s not easy but it’s doable. You might have to ask for help, so ask.
- Failing is one of the two outcomes of really living. Both success and failure are our best teachers. Go for it, encourage other women to do the same, and let them know you have their back.
- Bullies can be cruel and thoughtless and rude. Remember they can only hurt you if you promote them to a level of someone who matters. What they say does not matter, what you do is all that matters.
- Stop pleasing all the time. It is okay to have conflict.
- Your time as a woman, as a daughter, a sister, a wife, as a mother is very precious. Protect your time and prioritize yourself so that you can do what makes you thrive.
As Maya Angelou says, let’s all be proud to spell our names
W O M A N!!!!