an 18-year-old talks about international women’s day

hello, i’m isabella’s personal assistant. i’m an eighteen-year-old who has very strong views on the treatment and consideration of people in general. when isabella asked me to write something about international women’s day i was very intrigued and excited to be featured.

cat’s lab tells us that

celebrated on 8 march, international women’s day (IWD) is the global day connecting all women around the world and inspiring them to achieve their full potential. iwd celebrates the collective power of women past, present and future

when i think of international women’s day, i think back to when i was maybe 10 years old, standing in front of the vancouver art gallery with my mom in a huge group of people not really understanding what was going on or why i was there. i remember all the signs that people were holding that said things like “women deserve equal freedom and choice” and lots of other ones that were both similar and different. i have no particular memories about what the signs actually said, only what i think they said or now want them to have said.

i was in a crowd with thousands of people i didn’t know, all with a common goal: empowering and reiterating the power that women have in the world, a power that isn’t always recognized or in some cases not even recognized at all. this greatly saddens and infuriates me because i’ve had so much support and gratitude in my life. this has given me the tools to extend support and gratitude to other girls and women (and boys and men) that have been around me.

it’s really important to me that all my close people know how i feel about them. it’s interesting that the women in my life generally need more assurance then men. this has to do with the female mind and how it works compared to the male mind. most women need constantly to be in relationship whereas men are a lot more independent and can feel overwhelmed when they have too much of this.

for example, when i first met my dad at the age of eleven, he was overwhelmed by the fact that i wanted constant contact with him – this was quite alien to him. in contrast, when i first meet a woman or girl, we spend a lot of time creating mutual reassurance and comfort by talking for hours and hours.

i still do reassure the men in my life, just not as constantly as i reassure women. equally, i probably need more assurance from them than the men in their lives.

what’s my point? i think it’s important not to get too wrapped up in what has happened in women’s lives in the past, forgetting all the progress that’s been made in recognizing and supporting women thus far. i think that yes, it is important to know where we come from, but to totally focus on it and base our future solely on our past is basically living in the past; because if you’re always thinking about what you did or when you were younger or more naïve or what you would’ve done, then you’re not really in the current moment at all.

that’s definitely something i’ve noticed in my life: that yes, we do need to recognize that bad things have happened and a lot of them were done by men against women but also, that the world has changed since then and so it’s important to step off the pedestal for just a moment and recognize and appreciate those changes and that not all “men” or “male-esque people” have done the things that we as women accuse them of on days such as “international women’s day”.

what i find difficult is that i don’t have a lot of first-hand knowledge with the bad things. i could say “it’s better than it was before” but honestly i was not there, so that would be an incorrect statement; i need to talk from experience and that hasn’t been my experience. i grew up in a safe environment where being female was empowering and being myself was strongly encouraged.

i would love to open up dialogue with anyone who has comments, concerns or opinions on anything i have stated here. feel free to comment here or email me at:

i also looked around at a few blogs that mentioned international women’s day and saw some very entertaining and intriguing posts, for example:

women know everything! 3,241 quips, quotes, and brilliant remarks by karen weekes i haven’t yet read the book but it looks really entertaining. i’ll be adding it to my list of things to read.

this one talks about “another kind of muslim women”. ifaqeer refers to so many real life occurrences of really strong and courageous muslim women. it led me to a better understanding of muslim women and what they struggle with.

finally, this looks like a wonderful event in vancouver that’s on friday march 16th. dr. sarah weddington, counsel in the roe v. wade case and perhaps the youngest person ever to win a case before the us supreme court. this event will raise money for youth anti-violence workshops.

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