March 8th: International Women’s Day.
One of my first posts to my blog when it transferred from a personal journal to a lifestyle was on International Women’s Day 2018. I remember writing it, choosing my words wisely as I had in my previous gender equality and feminism posts, careful not to ruffle feathers or be misunderstood as a radical crazy man-hater. In reflection, I realize that is exactly why gender equality means so much to me, in fact, more than that.
How much equality means to me.
Today 2 years later, I write unapologetically. I shall not edit this post to make it adhere to political, social or societal expectations. As that is not what equality looks like.
International Women’s Day this year has the theme of #EachforEqual. This is the idea that a world that is truly equal, is enabled. A world that sees individuals as a human before their gender is one that can thrive, succeed and reach its full potential. #EachforEqual reminds us that it is not a women’s fight or a man’s battle. It is a human pursuit to allow people to become more than any label.
The website ends the post discussing this year’s theme with this…
#EachforEqual is about ‘Collective Individualism’
We are all parts of a whole. Our individual actions, conversations, behaviors and mindsets can have an impact on our larger society.
Collectively, we can make change happen. Collectively, we can each help to create a gender equal world.
We can all choose to be #EachforEqual.
Of course, today is not just about continuing the pursuit of equality, it is also about celebrating those who have paved our lives with there contributions to change, and to history. It is about celebrating as a society for how much we have grown. For the change that we have instilled in future generations. To celebrate those who were for allowing us to be where we are.
International Women’s Day is not just about what the future can look like, but also about celebrating what the present looks like compared to the past. I am thankful for each and every woman, man and individual who played a part no matter how much of there life they gave…
- To enable me to write a blog without signing as a man.
- To have had the opportunity to vote this year.
- To have rights over my own body.
I would like to share something this International Women’s Day, something I have yet to discuss online. It is why today I am so thankful for the progress of the past, and it is why I know there is still more progress to be made.
I have had an abortion.
We always have a choice, I firmly believe that. However, I also believe that the right choice is often the hardest.
I was in a position where I had to make a decision I never thought I would be faced with. The choice that put me first, my health, primarily my mental health was painful. The alternative, however, was something I couldn’t bring myself to imagine having to face.
Throughout the process, over the month where I figured out what I was going to do and as I carried out the abortion I was thankful to even have a choice.
I dread to think how much harder such an already invasive, traumatic and emotional experience would be paired with shame, legal issues, and lies. Even now writing this, it is hard for me to share.
It is hard for me to be here and not fear what responses this post will receive.
When I tell people in my life, those who I am dating, I still feel an impending sense of judgment.
I am thankful that I was surrounded by family and friends supporting. Sitting with health professionals free of any judgment holding my hand. But I still share my experience with gritted teeth and censored wording sure to explicitly say I couldn’t have coped with any alternative. I still exist with concern as to what will come next.
I am grateful each day that my experience was not that of the women of the past being challenged as to having rights to there own autonomy. But I am also reminded by my nerves and reluctancy to press publish that there is more progress to be made.
There is always more to be done in a world that is everchanging, growth is infinite. However, I ask you two simple questions today.
What change are you thankful for?
And, What change do you fight to see?
I am going to end this post just as I did 2 years ago with these final words…
Happy International Women’s Day may tomorrow bring greater steps to a world that believes in a concept that should have always been.
Today Tomorrow Forever,