Feminism

4 Ways to #PressForProgress on International Women’s Day

Happy International Women’s Day!

I am all for celebrating women each and every day of the year, but having an official holiday to do so obviously makes my feminist heart happy.

International Women’s Day was officially adopted by the United Nations in 1975, but was first celebrated as early as 1909 in New York. (Learn more here.)

International Women’s Day is, of course, meant to be a day of celebration, but it’s also meant to be a day of activism. This year’s theme is #PressForProgress, calling for us all to motivate and unite our friends, colleagues, and communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.

The World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report indicates that gender equality is over 200 years away! So we’ve got work to do.

Here are 4 ways you can #PressForProgress this International Women’s Day.

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See Jane Write founder featured by Sleepover Media

What made me a happy feminist this week? Being featured as a Bama Boss Babe by Sleepover Media.

Sleepover Media began by hosting events that quickly became dubbed as Birmingham’s “best girls’ night out” but grew into a local boss babe collective seeking to amplify the voices of women in the arts, entertainment, fashion, beauty, and business.

One way the women of Sleepover Media are setting out to celebrate local lady bosses is through their Bama Boss Babe video series. It was an honor to be featured in the latest edition.

What made you a happy feminist this week?

5 Things That Made Me a Happy Feminist This Week

Having a SOL Dance Experience with the ladies of See Jane Write was the highlight of my week.

Being a happy feminist has felt nearly impossible these days, for reasons that are obvious to anyone who keeps up with the news. And as we learn of more and more women who have suffered sexual assault by male politicians and celebrities, what’s almost just as enraging is the “Why is she just now coming forward?” bullshit that so many people — including other women — are saying in response to the allegations.

But the purpose of this post is to add a little happiness to your day, so I’ll step down from my soapbox and share with you 5 things that added a bit of joy to my week.

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Her Story project seeks to empower women of Birmingham and beyond

Emily Smith and Mary Beth Gore

We women are our own worst critics—if you’re a woman, you’ve probably heard this before. And maybe this statement made you angry because you disagree. Or maybe it filled you with sorrow because you can say from first-hand experience that it’s true. When Mary Beth Gore heard this statement while watching the documentary Miss Representation, she decided to do something about it. She decided to start Her Story, a series of profiles on women with a connection to the Birmingham area.

“I want all women to know their story matters,” says Gore, a 24-year-old social worker. “It is a very empowering experience for a woman to share her story and know that it’s meaningful.”

Instead of criticizing other women Gore wants to uplift women by helping their voice be heard. She teamed up with Emily Smith to help her with Her Story, which they launched in January. Over the year Gore and Smith have shared stories of women of different age groups and different walks of life—from stories of women who have survived gunshot wounds and battled eating disorders to stories of college students and stay-at-home moms.

For my latest column for B-Metro I had a chat with Gore and Smith about the Her Story project. You can read it here.

Also on December 1 at 6 p.m. at the Christ City Center in Bessemer, Gore and Smith will host Her Story Celebration, an evening celebrating one year of stories. The evening will include dinner, time to explore vendor booths featuring women-owned businesses, and a panel discussion with some of the women featured in the Her Story project this year. Tickets are $10 in advance via EventBrite.com and $15 at the door. All proceeds will benefit Grace House Ministries. You can order your tickets here.