It’s been nearly a month. Yep. Nearly a month since I’ve written anything here. So much for the every week, which then turned into every other week. This consistent schedule thing is going great.
I wish I could blame my lack of activity on a busy schedule. A hectic hustle. A life so bustling that I just can’t seem to find the time to sit at my computer and do the thing I’m meant to be doing: write. I wish I could say I’ve been working on other projects, things that I’m so passionate about and inspired by that this simply took a backseat. But I’d be lying. In truth, I’ve been feeling wildly uninspired.
But not today. Today feels like the perfect day to be returning to this platform. Why? It’s International Women’s Day. A day for celebrating the social, political and cultural achievements of women. A day for advocating for women’s equality. You know, the things we should be doing every day of the year.
Okay, okay. I’ll shelve my sarcasm for a second. To be frank, it’s a massively important day. Especially this year. It’s only March and we’ve already seen massive strides from women all over the globe. The first female vice president of the United States, Kamala Harris, has been inaugurated. We saw the youngest poet to ever perform at a presidential inauguration, Amanda Gorman. Grace Tame was named 2021 Australian of the Year (though my favourite achievement of hers is hands down her tactful takedown of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s handling of sexual assault allegations in Parliament). In a word? Iconic.
So, if you’re looking for the best ways to celebrate International Women’s Day this year, look no further, my feminist friend. Here are four suggestions to get you started.
1. Boost Your Booklist with Female Authors
Now, don’t get me wrong here – I’m not assigning you a reading list like you’re in the tenth grade all over again. That’s not what I’m about. What your booklist looks like is entirely up to you. But why not incorporate some more female authors in commemoration of International Women’s Day?
Whether you’re into the works of historic figures like Jane Austen and Emily Dickinson or more modern heroes like Roxane Gay and Michelle Obama, the musings of these women are undeniably iconic. In reading these works, we’re not only supporting female artistic creation, but we’re absorbing a wider range of female voices. More perspectives that we have so much to learn from. That we must learn from in order to achieve even a semblance of gender equality.
If you don’t know where to start, Bazaar has a great list of feminist books by female authors to get you going. A couple of my favourite suggestions? Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay. I’m in the middle of reading this right now and, my God, Gay is such an articulate gem who perfectly sums up how tricky it is to navigate the complexities of feminism. Another is The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. Holy shit this book is dark and depressing but, well, that’s the point. You’ll often feel awestruck at how fucked up this book’s components are but, in reality, it’s all extracted from history – and unfortunately, it’s more relevant than ever.
2. Buy from Women-Owned Businesses
One of the most basic ways we can celebrate International Women’s Day and be better feminists in general is to support women’s economic empowerment. A great step to take in doing that is, well, shelling out some of our own money. If you need to make a purchase today (and frankly any other day for the rest of your life), do your research and see about buying from women-owned businesses.
Now, I know many of you probably tuned out the second I mentioned “research.” I get it. That sounds like work. And when you’re shopping, you want convenience. You don’t want to have to think about it. Well, lucky for you, you sort of don’t have to. Thanks to websites like Women Owned, you can easily find women-owned businesses across an array of industries. The site even features a directory that you can use to easily search these sectors, from home goods to clothing to health and wellness products. Simple enough if you ask me.
3. Donate to Female-Oriented Charities
There’s never a bad time to give back. In fact, International Women’s Day happens to be the perfect time. The official website for International Women’s Day features their own list of recommended charities that advocate for the equality, wellness and empowerment of women and girls.
Some of their favourites include:
Not connecting to any of these? Take your own approach. Donate to your local Planned Parenthood or other pro-choice body. Contributing to the fight for women’s autonomy over their own bodies is hella cool and possibly one of the most feminist ways to commemorate the day.
4. Get Involved & Spread the Word
It might feel like you need money to make a difference while celebrating International Women’s Day. Nope. Not the case, my feminist friend. One of the most valuable commodities you can put to use to honour this day is your voice. So, I strongly encourage you to use it.
Go to a protest (hint: my Australian-based readers can attend March 4 Justice protests in nearly any major Australian city to urge more serious action from Parliament in response to recent rape allegations). Post on social media. Write a blog post. Speak up. Don’t stop speaking. Push back on every man who tries to interrupt you (because, let’s face it, there’ll probably be at least one). Make sure you’re heard.
Remember how necessary and powerful your voice is. And fight to never forget it.