Thursday, March 9, 2017

Everyday is Women's Day Because Women are People

It's 8:43 am. I am a woman and this is what I have done so far today.

Woke up my partner, because he had a meeting to go to and I set the alarm.
Kissed him goodbye.
Made coffee. Immediately started making my to do list in my brain. One for our business, one for home/personal life.
Let dog out.
Fed dog.
Sat down, found paper and a pen, begin making list(s), trying to keep the word "reasonable" in mind.
The littlest woke up early and was a bit disoriented. Before coffee comforted littlest.
Got coffee while simultaneously planning a birthday trip for the littlest.
Researched multiple venues for trip, travel routes, store locations and cost.
Send detailed itinerary to all involved parties. It's 7:30 am.
Text three other people about said birthday to see if that can make it over for cake. Debate when/how to do cake.
Try to figure out where to buy roller skates for kid.
Text partner's kid to see if she can make it over cake.
Admire step-daughter's new hairstyle. Appropriate affirmations for teenagers are tricky.
Finish making to do list(s). Finally.
Make to do list (business and personal) for partner, debate on giving it to him.
Instruct small child to make her lunch.
Oversee lunch construction.
Wake older children.
Change laundry.
Wake older children again. Stand there waiting for them to appear awoken while holding laundry.
Back upstairs to oversee lunch/breakfast consumption.
Remind children 753 times to brush their teeth, take their pill, consume food, put their lunch in their backpacks.
Remind oldest that socks and shoes are necessary to go to school.
Comfort middle kid, he's grumpy lately and needs some extra attention.
Notice that the littlest has her shirt on backwards and point that out to her. She debates, I was right.
Instruct oldest to fix his cornstalk-like hair.
Check on the status of the dishes.
Clean off the counter so I can begin folding laundry.
Do smallest child's hair.
Check on the middle kid.
Has anyone eaten yet???
The oldest has now disappeared for 10+ minutes, find him in the bathroom trying to pull out one of his teeth. Tell him that is not the best before school activity.
Fix and style his hair, and blow it dry because he's got sensory issues and wet hair freaks him out.
Tell smallest child to clean her room.
Tell oldest child to clean his room and make his bed. (My boys don't understand these things go together).
Continue folding 2 loads of laundry.
Tell middle child to go help his brother clean their room.
Find out oldest child has been bullied into making his younger brother's bed. Correct the situation.
Apply medicine to middle child's "ouchie".
Attempt to find a different "not hot" coat for little child. Unsuccessful.
Still folding laundry.
Tell children which order they are standing in line waiting for the bus stop today. ***eye roll***
Make sure their rooms are in fact clean.
Kiss children goodbye, except for the one who's currently annoyed and won't kiss me.
Children leave. It's 8:20
Finish folding laundry.
Pour another cup of coffee that will get cold.
Set it down thinking I can get to work now.
Remember I have to put the laundry away.
Begin putting laundry in various rooms/closets.
Notice all the laundry hampers have laundry in them, empty them.
Notice 17 hair ties in various places around the house (partially my fault) pick them all up, put them away.
Turn on ceiling fans in all the bedrooms. It's stuffy in here.
Empty two trashcans. Track down missing outdoor trash can. Put new bags in cans.
Debate about cleaning the bathroom. It really needs to be done, and I really need to start work for the day!
Leave the bathroom dirty.
Make my bed.
Pick up dirty clothes in the bathroom, random slippers, put them away.
Check on dog, does she need to go out again?
Think I can finally sit down and get to work.
Remember I haven't eaten.
Sit down anyway.

I am a woman and without me this home would not run. This doesn't mean that my work is less significant because much of it is the minutiae of running a home. Nor does it mean that my partner, because he's male, isn't capable of doing everything I just did. It may come less naturally to him but that is not an advantage he has over me. Without me, our business wouldn't work either. We are equal partners in work and life.

While I think it's essential to celebrate women. I think it's even more essential to celebrate all people, especially those who are doing life with us. It is not more important to celebrate me because I am a woman than it is my partner or sons or step-son. They are not less worthy of praise because they are all white and male. The most important thing to focus on in my life isn't the celebration of the different or disadvantaged individual. The most important thing for me to focus on is the love and appreciation of each person I come across. That starts at home and in my home there are more white males than anyone else.

My 11 year old son asked me years ago why there's no such thing as boy power? He sometimes lacks the courage to speak up in his own life. He wanted someone to be standing behind him chanting "Boy Power" like he sees people standing behind his little sister chanting "Girl Power." "Can't they encourage me to be me Momma?" He's been born into a world that will tell him his opinion has already been heard. He's just one more white male in the midst of the masses who already run things. He's already gotten the impression that he doesn't need to share his voice. It's already been heard. But it hasn't really.

Now, I'm the first to say that inequality between men and women irritates the shit out of me. Jokes about the wage gap do not make me laugh, they make me angry. Being disadvantaged in the job market because I was/am a single mother led my family into impoverished situations where we battled homelessness repeatedly. I have used food banks. I have been unable to get a job because I had kids but no ring on my finger. I am a feminist. But not one most feminists would recognize and call one of their own. I believe in the rights of women, I believe we should be treated equally. I believe that a bill should be passed by congress demanding equal pay between genders and I don't care that it would require more government oversight, something I'm generally opposed to.

But I do not believe that these things are held in opposition to celebrating the ones less marginalized among us. My sons need to hear that Boy Power is cool too. My partner needs his opinion to not be overlooked simply because he's the stereotypical 40 something white male, so supposedly everyone already knows what he thinks. My work is valid and should be celebrated and valued equally monetarily. So should theirs.

In our time we are so busy celebrating, revering, championing the other. That we forget to focus on the ones right in front of us. Let's not do that friends. We are one. All of us. I don't need a tee-shirt reminding me to persist and resist, I can do that every day, in my home with the people right here. Chances are if more of us celebrated the ones right in front of us, there would be less need for International ___________ Day. Because we'd already all be celebrated and loved. And from that space we can do anything.

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