We work. We love. We nurture. We fight. We innovate. We birth. We support. But somehow we’re still the lesser. (What feels like) Eons later, women are still living in a man’s world. It’s a confusing and often complex phenomenon especially when we sprinkle of cultures and religion into the ‘1+1=1.5 equation.’ But every once in a while we remember the great power the woman possesses. We remember Shirley Chisholm. Beyonce Knowles-Carter. Michelle Obama. Rosa Parks. Mariama Ba. Maya Angelou. Princess Diana. Malala Yousafzai. Sophie Zinga. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Our moms.
That every once in a while comes to us today in the form of Woman’s History Month. When the clock strikes March 1st I get this overwhelming sense of joy and pride to be Female. My peacock feathers are out! My Instagram feed is overflowing with phenomenal women who inspire me to continue to push the limit and work towards the best version of myself. It’s a month to reunite and connect with our leaders and respected peers to collectively shed light on the importance of woman equality in this “man’s world.”
I grew up in my mother’s African Hair Braiding Salon where women from all walks of life convened at her 125th Avenue beauty haven. And trust and believe, I’ve heard it all within those four walls. But I also remembered being inspired by so many women, in so many ways. I remember: One lady had the most compelling stories about teaching special needs children. That inspired me to be compassionate to my peers in school. Another lady visited religiously and each time had a different story about her job as a bus route driver. She, somehow, taught me to be authoritative. This hilarious woman (who was well in her 50s at her time) retired young and traveled the world (in stylish grey braids, of course). She inspired me to not take my self too seriously. And to make sure I went away to for college and looked into a study abroad program as soon as I settled on campus. It was a great time growing up, and having a sense of self-worth in this otherwise man-dominated world.
Now that those days have come and gone I have had to find my own sort of haven, where women convene, inspire and spark new changes. And now, in my older years, I have made it a priority to always surround myself with strong females. Women’s History Month is a gift to me; it’s become my digital safe haven. *Cue “I’m Every Woman”*