THANK YOU on International Women’s Day 2014
How can a raving feminist, like me, not document this day? I love people, (which also includes men at times*), but there are so many women who I’m so aware of shaping my life, in diverse ways, from close or afar. I want to dedicate this post to them.
To the women in Christian culture who show me that being a woman is diverse, not just fitting into a ‘should’. Who’ve shown me that life is both messy and beautiful, that feminine faith is divine, and that sometimes being a female Christian doesn’t look particularly feminine, too. You brave, prayerful women, who take faith to uncomfortable places, and still keep hoping… sometimes for me. For your advocacy. You show me a new face of Jesus, one that’s too often forgotten.
To my mum, grandma, and other care givers (to me and others): nose wipers, nappy changers, tear dryers, meal makers, mess cleaners and clothes washers. For the unseen acts of love and duty, and the taken-for-granted comforts. For guarding my health and coaxing out my flourishing. For your noble gentleness and safety, and sacrifices. For generously creating homes and memories.
To the pioneers, the ones who’ve gone first. Trouser wearers, sign holders, voice raisers. The ones who’ve gone against the mould and make it more safe for others to follow suit. The women who’ve called out injustice. The women who’ve acted rather than waited.
To the thinkers and writers and teachers and conversationalists, who make my brain fire up, and encourage me to come and join you at the table. For intimate coffees, vulnerable words shared, original phrases and new connections. For your expertise and passion, your authority and influence. To my host of female Dumbledores who’ve taught me some of the magic of growing into a woman.
To the young women who share their worlds with me. Who give me the sacred privilege of sharing their stories, or acts of trust. You inspire me with your passion and skills, and call out a better self from me, too. I can’t wait to see how you change the world.
And not unimportantly, to the women who make me roar with laughter. For private and outrageous jokes. For silliness and play in adulthood. For getting me and the grace in laughing at my jokes! For the wet cheeks and cramping stomach muscles that we’ve shared over meals and wine. For your gift of making the complexities of life sometimes even fun to navigate.
So many great women. I almost wanted to write a list of names, because I know so many women who I’d like to publicly thank, so many women who probably don’t know that I’m also referring to them. But it’s a little cringey, and I just know that I could never manage a fully comprehensive list without forgetting some deeply important people. So, if you’re a woman, and you have a fond hunch that you might be on the list somewhere, PLEASE assume that you are. If you’re a man, however effeminate, but still neglected from these tributes… thanks for your greatness, and also for letting us be great, too.
*Namely, but not exclusively Vic Reeves, Mark Yaconelli, Jesus, my male housemates, my nephews, Jamie Song, Winston the rabbit…