Women’s Equality Day: In case you forgot.

You will find the usual suspects circulating your news feed. The ones who talk about how GREAT it is to be a woman living in 2016.

Last time I checked, I’m still making significantly less than my male counterpart. It’s one of the many reasons why I checked out of the corporate world and decided to venture into the treacherous waters of entrepreneurship. Being in business has introduced me to an entirely new set of challenges.

Will they take you seriously? After all, you’re just a woman.

If I’m not careful, I’ll sound like a roaring feminist – and really how can we possibly progress when we are fueled by futile thoughts?

We can’t. What will help is making sure our voices are heard, more than just through the lens of mainstream outlets who are often times using you as click bait. Like scoring a one night stand, what are they really adding to our cause?

The cause is change. A change in how we view ourselves and how we treat ourselves as women. This will begin to make all the difference. We get what we tolerate. 

What are you willing to tolerate?

There are undeniable truths which paint a pretty picture of how far we’ve come.

Fact: Women took home more Olympic medals than men in Rio.

61 more.

The U.S. could elect its first Female President.

Another fact: more than 100 women now hold seats in U.S. Congress.

But let’s face it – there are many people out there that see this movement of women empowering themselves, as a business opportunity.

Major corporations (none of which we will call out) are using it to tout just how equal their workspaces are for women – and while we applaud their efforts, perception becomes reality and the perception soon becomes all is well in the world of women.

Here are some sobering facts:

  • Many women still don’t get equal pay (although some will argue we are constitutionally protected)
  • Women are often times forced to pick between their careers and motherhood
  • Women still fall victim to sexual harassment and when they have the courage to speak up, unnamed media conglomerates happily cut their accuser a multi-million dollar check

We still find it difficult to openly talk about taboo topics like:

Infertility.

Post Partum Depression.

Workplace Discrimination.

and…

Sexuality.

As the Founder of HER Magazine, I should be choosing my words wisely, but I know there are many women out there who are forced into roles they no longer identify with. It is my mission to UNMAKE TRADITION, so that we don’t feel ashamed about pursuing our inalienable rights.

There’s nothing extreme about this way of thinking. There’s nothing feminist about it either. There shouldn’t be a label for it. Archetypes and labels are what limit us.

We’re recognizing an historical time right now.

It’s been nearly a century since the 19th Amendment, which guarantees women the right to vote was formally adopted into the U.S. Constitution.

We’ve come far…but we have so much further to go.

I encourage women to compassionately educate others about the inequalities we still face, not to wallow in our injustices but to walk in courage. I see many women walking in courage already, and many women who have come before us – paving the path for others to make their mark, to create a legacy of lasting change.

It IS a great time to be a woman, despite the hurdles we face today…and the hurdles we’ll face tomorrow.

And for that, we should celebrate.

My questions to you:

  1. What does Women’s Equality Day mean to you?
  2. How far have we come?
  3. How much further do we need to go?

 

 

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