March 8 is International Women’s Day. What does this mean?
Well, this post is one week late, but I was somewhat pleasantly busy on International Women’s Day and the week flew by. But it’s still a relevant topic.
So what is International Women’s Day? My purpose is not to go into a lot of details here about the history, there is already great information out about it. This post is my perspective on this day.
First, what International Women’s Day is not (again, to me). Often people say I don’t need such and such day to acknowledge such and such thing and be treated right. Perhaps, but what is wrong with a little more charm and celebration in life? Why not take a day to celebrate an attribute of someone. Yes, I might ‘over celebrate’ things by some norms. New job, new season, someone else’s accomplishment, my accomplishment, overcoming something difficult – celebrate them all. What is wrong with adding spark to your life or someone else’s life. This day is not:
Romantic – can be, but not required. Certainly significant others can recognize this, but not limited to that type of relationship. Anyone in your life can make you feel special. It can be a friend, a family member, your kids, your relatives, or anyone. But if you don’t have the most thoughtful people around you who make you feel special….celebrate yourself. That is always more of a challenge, because frankly, it’s nice to be appreciated by someone…anyone.
Political – it can be for some, but not for me. Being a woman has some political aspects, but for me it goes way beyond that. Maybe because I’m not the loud political type and like to move forward and achieve in my own way.
Just another Mother’s Day – being a mother can be just ONE aspect of being a woman. Yes, it may be your child who appreciates and celebrates you this day because you are there for them (at any age this child may be), but this celebratory day is not just limited to mothers. Surely, it’s nice to be appreciated and celebrated by a child, especially if you have a done a lot for them.
So what does this day mean to me?
For a while International Women’s Day was only a big deal among Europeans. After we moved to the U.S., we hung out with a lot of other Europeans also who were well versed in this day and observed the customs. Then as I drifted away from my parents’ friends, it completely stopped. Nobody in my new adult world ever heard of this holiday or did anything about it. And I kind of did nothing about it also. When in Rome….
But recently, even in the U.S., this day is now being observed. Some of it is political, but for me it still isn’t. Women started wishing each other Happy International Women’s Day and so on. With social media, even more widespread. When I was dating Europeans, they were well versed in the day and always brought me flowers and acknowledged the day. And if you raise your children with this in mind, plus the U.S. making it more of an event, they start observing it. But, as personal growth, several years ago, nothing was happening from anyone, and I got tired of the ‘when in Rome’ philosophy and bought my own flowers. The ‘when in Rome’ works to a point but you really need to be true to yourself and your own needs. And being ‘bi-cultural’ this means a little internal tug, but I just stopped analyzing and went with what felt right. You do what you have to; what makes you feel right.
It was also a good point to evaluate and reflect, why I have to get my own flowers (yes, flowers are important to some of us). But I won’t deny myself the joy that flowers bring to me. And yes, I did re-evaluate why and made some new choices in my life. Certainly if you have a romantic partner, it would be nice to be appreciated a bit more and celebrated if this day is important to you even if it is not a romantic holiday-you are the woman in their life. It’s a learning process for the partner or people around you if you are from another culture. Learning takes time, but it does happen when people care; we are not static beings. These cultural dichotomies don’t stop, even at this point in my life.
If the people in your life don’t care about this, so be it. These celebrations are very personal. Some people are low key and do not even celebrate anything. It’s right for them.
So what did I do this year? Without going into to much detail, it was a great one. I was celebrated, I felt special and I enjoyed some of my achievements. And yes, I received beautiful flowers.