This is not a lecture.
This is not a history lesson.
This is an ode to those who came before me. Those that are still here and fighting with every breath.
Those women who fought endlessly for my right to vote, for my voice to be heard.
For those who took us out of the kitchen and into the real world. Who made it known that we would not be reduced to a set of duties or the names of our children.
Who tirelessly questioned their positions in life, a body used as a vessel, wife a word only uttered after husband. Somehow they knew it didn't feel right—a peacock caught in a canary cage.
For those women who burned their bras in the darkened eye of the Establishment and watched them blaze along with centuries of propriety.
For those women who took their rightful place next to men in the courtroom, the office, the fields. Who created opportunities for us decades down the road in whatever-space-you-want-to-work-you-can...because of them.
For the authors who picked up their pens and wrote their truth, even when the ink was slowed by the choking grip of male privilege. The artists whose brushes stayed wet in the light of drying criticism. The singers whose voices never wavered, though the air was filled with disapproval.
Thank you for your words and songs and actions, especially when they felt too heavy to release.
Thank you for blazing a trail, even though the path was dark and fraught with abuse.
This is an ode to those still fighting today to preserve our progress;
let it be known that our worth is not automatically assigned at birth, and that we will do
wondrous and amazing things
with or without your approval.
For those since gone and for those still breathing, thank you for giving a name
to our mission of equality--
Feminism is not a dirty word but a love poem with four syllables.
Happy International Women's Day! To learn more about this day, check out the official website. Looking for more information on the awesome contributions throughout history by women? Click here.
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Writer, editor, and storyteller living in the Twin Cities.