I took Sociology of Women in 1994 and it changed my life.
This class was the first time I labeled myself as a feminist because it was the first place feminism was defined clearly and correctly. This class was the first time I learned about feminist history and could place myself within a larger context, connecting myself to women across the generations. This was the first place I felt capable, beautiful and connected to something larger than myself. I felt fierce, wild and huge.
This is also the place I first heard about International Women’s Day. I left class each day surprised, angry and inspired. The day I learned about the global celebration of women’s accomplishments and women’s rights was no different. I was astounded to learn that March 8 is a national holiday in many parts of the world and I had never even heard of it. I was fired up. I wanted to do something.
I was planning a huge event for International Women’s Day ’95 within a few months. I coordinated speakers, musicians and authors, I put together a film festival, a tabling event and an evening performance. As a young and budding activist to say I was overwhelmed is putting it mildly. But every mistake, near melt-down and step in the planning process empowered me. I could take action (and I was)!
I have continued to celebrate and honor all women for the last 15 years. March 8 holds deep meaning for me because in addition to celebrating other women’s accomplishments and contributions, I celebrate my own. It is this day that gave birth to the woman I am today and all the successful (and not so successful) endeavors I have committed myself to. International Women’s Day was the day I realized I could make change happen. International Women’s Day marked my place within the feminist lineage and my contribution to women’s rights and women’s voices. For all these reasons, March 8 is a significant milestone in my life.
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