I am not one to want to get too involved in politics. I try to put awareness to my own actions and my immediate surroundings on a daily basis: we make choices all the time, and they begin in the smallest ways – even in our mind, long before actions are executed, or words are uttered. So it kind of surprised me when I found myself quite emotional on International Women’s Day last Tuesday.
First thing in the morning, I sent a spontaneous message to my youngest daughter (who is on European time zone):
“Happy International Women’s Day, liebste Emma!
May you find validation in your existence
Not through other, but through your own worthiness.
May the power of your love to another always be fuelled and measured by your love for yourself.”
Then I went to a Women’s Day event put on by the Centre for Women in Business. Keynote speaker Joanne Thomas Yaccato, who -in her own words- has been “traveling to the four corners of the world, spreading the gospel of gender intelligence”, delivered a bit of hope, but mostly disturbing facts. But this still doesn’t explain my stronger than usual response.
Why this year?
Because this year, a woman friend in the public eye was brave enough to speak out against a physical injustice done upon here by a famous man. Because of the tremendous ripple effect her braveness has had throughout Canada – women coming forward, and with them the whole topic of sexual violence. Within me, as with so many women across this country, this has touched deep wounds. Or rather: wounds deeply buried.
And that, in turn, highlighted that I have been able to raise my daughters to be confident young women who would never, ever have put up with what my generation still considered perhaps normal, or in any case nothing to raise a fuss over. These young women know, honour, and celebrate their bodies. This is a huge departure in family karma – I feel that generational chains have been broken. And for this, I am just a little bit proud, and certainly tremendously grateful.
Maybe that’s why International Women’s Day got to me this year. As well it should.