Today is International Women’s Day, and though I certainly don’t need a holiday to celebrate women, in honor of this day I’d like to share five ways I think women writers can celebrate International Women’s Day every day.
I believe that we women who write need to accept the charge given by writer Nora Ephron: “Above all, be the heroine of your life.” And we should do all we can to encourage the women and girls around us to do the same. We must also do the work necessary to create a world where women and girls actually can be the heroines of their own lives.
If you’re not sure what all of this work looks like here are some ideas…
We writers need to get in the habit of finding inspiration anywhere. And one of the many places I get inspiration is from TED Talks, particularly when I’m writing about topics from a feminist perspective. Here are 7 TED Talks I think all feminist writers should see.
For most of my childhood, I was oblivious to gender roles and stereotypes. I climbed trees faster and more fearlessly than the boys in my neighborhood because no one ever suggested that I couldn’t — or shouldn’t. My mother didn’t care if I wore dresses or jeans. My father was the one who cooked Sunday dinner and most other meals, too.
But it was the church that taught me girls were to be seen not heard. It started when I got kicked out of a vacation bible school class one summer at my cousin’s church for asking too many questions about Proverbs 31. When I got older and even more interested in religion, I told my Granny I had thought about being a preacher one day and she told me that would never be allowed because the Baptist church believed the pulpit was no place for a woman. This was long before I called myself a feminist, long before I even really understood what that word meant. Yet, when my well-intentioned grandmother said those words something stirred within me and gave me a command as clear as God’s to Moses through the burning bush: “Rebel!”
Long before the popularity of the “Jesus Is My Homeboy” T-shirts, I considered Jesus my BFF. More accurately, he was my hero, protecting me from the being much more terrifying than any imagined monsters underneath my bed — God.
One of the things I admire most about the young people I teach is their willingness to use those voices while they’re still finding their voices. We grownups are often afraid to speak our minds because we fear that we might one day change our mind or simply because we fear what others may think. But we should be much more afraid of what will happen if we stay silent.
Here are five ways you can use your words to make a difference.