Trini Lind – Happy Women’s Day! – 3-8-16
Today, on this women’s day 2016, I don’t want to address the young women and teenage girls out there, I want to address you who belong to my mother’s generation, you who are in your 50s and 60s today.
Dear beautiful ladies, mothers, aunties, big sisters. We, women of your daughters’ generation look up to you, you are our rolemodels and it is to you we look for for guidance on what is to come. So please, I want to ask you, do not tell us how jealous you are of our youth, do not encourage us to enjoy the attention of men while we have it because very soon it will stop. Do not complain about your wrinkles as if your worth depended on a porcelain skin. Do not hide or be ashamed of your bodies. Do not talk badly about the 60 something year old lady who chooses to wear miniskirts even though her legs are not perfectly smooth anymore. Do not talk about age appropriate clothes and dress in all-black when you are dying to wear bold and bright colors. Do not keep reminding us of how fleeting beauty is and that we should encourage the stares of men while we are young. You are only teaching us that beauty is measured by the (sexual) attention of men. Do not put each other down, telling us how at this age one needs to wear less lipstick and more concealer and stop eating sugar. Support the women of your generation! Encourage each other to stand tall, pursue your dreams, voice your opinions and take on roles of leadership. Celebrate the wisdom your age has given you, if you respect yourself, you will also encourage the world to respect you. Do not put yourself down, trying to hide or deny your age, or make yourself small. Be powerful! Be bold! Take back your right to be heard and for your opinions to matter! Do not limit yourself, and if society tries to limit you, fight back! If you cannot find the motivation to fight for yourself, fight for us, your daughters who will soon be where you are now. Pave the way for us, leave a proud legacy of power and respect for us who walk in your footsteps.
Do not make us dread what is to come. Do not make us cling to our physical beauty so much that we start living a shallow life of fear, restlessly fighting something that we think one day will make us wortless. Do not teach us by words or example, that our beauty, our loveableness is decided by men. You will inspire us to lose our self power and self worth and hand it over to men, making it more likely that we will enter into unhealthy relationships, relationships of verbal and physical abuse.
Talking about men…I also want to appeal to all you fathers, uncles and brothers out there, for it is you who teach your daughters, nieces and sisters what to expect from men, how we will be perceived and how we should be treated. It is through your eyes we, as young girls, look to see our reflection as women. Do not comment on our weight or body, even if it is to, in your eyes, give constructive criticism. If you want to tell us that we are beautiful, tell us on Sunday morning when are lying on the couch in our pajamas watching TV, do not tell us when we are dolled up for a night on the town. Do not keep posters of bikini models on the walls, it will only teach us that that is how men will find us desirable and appealing, half naked, lustful, and with no display of intelligence, open to be fantasized over by men. And to you fathers out there, treat our mothers right, because it as the way you treat our mothers we will expect to be treated by our future husbands. Encourage us and compliment us as much as you like, but do it on the basis of academic or professional achievements or when we have taken a step in the direction of our dreams. Make us strong and powerful, give us confidence and self belief. Do not worry so much about the men we date because if you give us all this, if you make us into strong women, we will not date the wrong men.
As women we need to stand together, to encourage and inspire each other, to celebrate each other’s achievements, and most importantly to understand that we are role models for each other. The older woman paves the way and gives direction to the younger woman, and the younger woman becomes a source of inspiration and motivation for the young girl. Your words, your actions impact others, more deeply and profoundly than you know, so choose them with care, consideration and purpose. You are important and you can make a difference in someone’s life, no matter what age you are, but I would still dare to say that the older you are the more deeply runs your ability to have an impact on the younger generation, so please for us, for your daughters, your little sisters, your nieces, use that power wisely, use it to do some good in the world. It is much needed. You are much needed.
Happy Women’s Day to women and girls of all ages!
Image credit: Google images