Momservation: Tell a girl to walk away to make a point and she might get respect for a day. Teach a girl to never back down and she gets respect for a lifetime.
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You don’t win the war by skipping training exercises.
I’m all for recognizing women’s contributions to society for International Women’s Day, but I don’t think #DayWithoutAWoman is the best way to go about this.
First of all, you’d need more than a day for this impact to truly be felt—just ask a dad who’s had to take care of the kids for Mom’s Girls Getaway weekend. First night they think they’re all—Oh yeah, I got this:
Second of all, why are we asking women to take the financial hit as workers and business owners by not coming into work or shutting down our businesses for a day? Wouldn’t it be more effective to dock men’s paychecks the hours lost if we had not shown up (converted, of course, to equivalent male salary)?
The point is, it’s becoming increasingly evident it will be women who are going to save the world from this free-fall sooner than we think and we need to be prepared for it. Today, International Women’s Day, should be pausing in battle to take stock of the strides we as women have made and the gains in rights and equalities around the world we continue to rapidly secure. Today should be about acknowledging that we will persist to press forward, refusing to back down on the respect and equality we deserve.
You don’t take your toys and climb out of the sandbox when you’re pushed. You push forward and re-draw the line in the sand.
It was my 15 year-old daughter who best illustrated this point when she was three years old—destined to join the ranks of strong women making a difference by refusing to back down.
She was playing in a sandbox with two boys, one four and one six years old—the oldest one nearly double her size. It looked like the boys were having fun in their corner of the sandbox so she asked, “Can I play with you guys?”
The younger boy looked to the oldest boy for direction. Instead of including her he stood up to sneer, “No! We don’t want to play with you!” And to make the point further, both boys turned their backs to her and kept playing.
Shocked at the cruel exclusion for no apparent reason, I thought my daughter might cry at one of life’s first harsh rejections. I thought she might jump up and run into the comforting safety of my embrace. I thought she might stop playing in the sand, wounded by the hostile environment.
Instead, without hesitation, she grabbed her shovel and bucket and scooched herself over to join them. As the boys stared shocked at her bravado she announced: “Well, I’m going to play with you!”
She ignored their stunned faces and began digging in their corner of the sandbox. The boys, frozen in play, stared at this little girl who dared ignore the rules of their playground. Finally, they shrugged, none worse for wear, and joined her in play.
That, ladies, is what our future looks like. You don’t climb out of the sandbox and hope they notice. You push forward and rewrite the rules.