“What is the hardest part of being a woman?”
My 9-year-old hit me with that DEEP question on the way to school this morning.
“It’s International Women’s Month. What is the hardest part?”
I have to be honest, my mind immediately went to the JUGGLE STRUGGLE. You know, trying to balance work and home life. Trying to conquer the never-ending piles of laundry…making “wholesome” home-cooked meals every night…limiting screen time…baths…conference calls…emails…driving the Mom taxi all over town…finding matching socks…looking presentable in the morning on three hours of sleep… remembering to change the sweater that has baby puke on it…making time for the gym so I can lose the mama pouch…Oh and PMS. Let’s not forget about that gem.
So after my mind flashed through a normal “woman” day for me…I told my daughter this:
“You know G, the hardest part of being a woman is you just wanted to be treated equally. Plain and simple.”
It was a deep convo to get into only 4 blocks from school…but it’s an important one we will have to revisit tonight.
I never wanted to be hired for a job to fill a quota. I wanted to get the job because I was the best person for the job.
I never wanted to be referred to as a “good athlete for being a girl.” I just wanted to be a good athlete.
I want to be able to cry and not get labeled as “emotional.”
I want to be able to stand up and fight for kids without being labeled “too aggressive.”
I want to be able to speak my mind and have my voice heard without being labeled the “B” word.
Why can’t women be described the same way men are: Passionate. Assertive. Tough. Leader.
I remember having this conversation with someone recently and they said, “Oh my God Amanda…let it go. Don’t make it men versus women. ”
That’s the problem right there…that’s not what this is about.
I have an amazing amount of respect for men. I’m surrounded by some of the best there is: my father, my uncles, my husband, my brother, my brothers-in-law, some local leaders, my priest, my son….this list could go on-and-on.
This is not (and should not) be an “us” versus “them” situation.
At the end of the day this is what I want for myself…for my three daughters…for women everywhere: for our voice to be the focus rather than the shade of our lipstick or size of our waist.
It shouldn’t be that difficult.
But it is.