Last year, I had written a piece on International Women’s Day that was later read by a man I briefly went out with. The blog ended with:
“Live life my friends, especially if you are a woman. To honour those who have gone before us, to advance those who are to follow: be courageous, be woman, be proud.”
The guy started to laugh and asked me if I was being serious. This couldn’t be serious right? This must be a joke. “Live life especially if you are a woman”, what did that even mean? A few conversations on the matter later, he revealed he believed (!) that ‘considering equal rights, women who fall pregnant shouldn’t automatically be able to ask men for maintenance’. In his view, this money was an incentive for the woman to keep the baby. They want the baby, they should pay for it. Reflecting upon this a year later, our affair – though brief – still lasted surprisingly long…
Happy International Women’s Day: the fact that these well-educated and seemingly adjusted men walk around in fairly developed countries as the UK, is exactly why today is still needed.
Today, living life as a woman means that I appreciate that I have the choice to sleep with beautiful yet misguided men but that I thankfully don’t have to marry them; that I am able to exercise in the gym or in the park because my body is my own; that I occasionally worry about money, because it is me who earns it; that I can waste hours on the internet because I can read and my brain is constantly hungry for information; it means that I can facilitate workshops and write pieces like these, because I have a voice that I want to use to connect with others; it means that I can review plays and bars, because I have the freedom to move around by myself; it means I can momentarily panic about parking the car, because I am the one behind the wheel; it means that at 29, I am still looking forward to have biological or non-biological children one day, because I choose them in my life.
Living life means appreciating your opportunities: being able to create your chances by using the freedom of choice and personal will, to live a life true to you and your potential. No one should be denied this – just because they’re women.