It’s Women’s History Month and, while that isn’t a holiday that involves any gift giving, special food preparation, or other opportunity to get together with friends and enjoy a margarita, I still think it is one worth celebrating.
Especially right now.
When women are facing so many struggles around the world.
Seeing inspiring women doing big, inspiring things fills me up.
It’s weird to think that 20 years ago I felt more equal and respected as a woman and person of color than I do today. Isn’t time supposed to encourage progress or something?
Possibly it was my young naivete that only allowed me to worry about things like who was bringing the wine coolers to our apartment so we could pregame a night at the club that, as broke college students, we could barely afford the cover charge for.
Or, maybe it is just the state of our nation and the power of our people –are we all more eager, willing, and able to use our voices to impact change? Are we all collectively fed up with the status quo to the point that standing up for something is not only worth it, but kinda necessary?
I’m gonna say it’s a combination of things.
And social media.
I know, social media is the root of all evil.
It is why our kids are bullies and our nation is desensitized.
But, as it is tearing us down and apart, it is also a tool that can help bring us all together.
The social movements we are seeing seem so much more perpetuated, fueled, and supported thanks to the power of social media. It allows us to be connected not only to likeminded people, but to causes that touch our hearts and inspire action.
While it is easy to blame my inability to care about much more than cute boys and free drinks 20 years ago, I truly believe it was more than my shallowness that kept me from feeling involved in my community and empowered to make a change. And, activism of any sort was definitely outside my realm of life.
Twenty years ago I only experienced two types of activists in my life –the Jews for Jesus (yes, they are a thing) dude shouting at people in the quad of my campus, and the prosthelytizing, kente cloth adorned pot head found on various college couches who would eagerly espouse about “The Man” while judging everything about my meat eating, capitalist lifestyle (never mind that I am pretty sure he was enrolled at the same university as me, even if I didn’t ever actually see him in a single class).
Neither of those people were inspiring women who touched my life.
I couldn’t relate to zealous public rants or mild criminal behavior (listen, pot wasn’t legal in 90s).
This activism felt scary. Standing up felt hard.
And, while those two statements are only slightly less true today, both myself and the picture of an empowered individual fighting the status quo for the good of humanity are different.
Twenty-first century activism is different.
It’s more layered, there’s space for all of us, and our voices can more easily be heard.
I don’t have to lay down in a street while a rabid acting dog nips at my face to make my point (although, yes, this still works) or inspire change. There’s no one way to inspire, empower, impact, and encourage. And, there are countless influences, easily discovered, to help drive your personal journey.
In honor of National Women’s Month, I’d like to celebrate a few of the brave women who are actively creating a conversation around equality, acceptance, and transformation. Women who inspire, encourage, support, and change.
Women’s History Month: 10 Inspiring Women to Follow Online
“We’re on this planet to serve! Find your tribe, craft your service or product offering, be authentic and deliver with excellence. ” –@JusticeFergie
“I am in joy porque soy una mujer fenomenal rodeada de mujeres fenomenales— and we deserve equal pay! We’re not 54% phenomenal. We bring 100% every day & it’s time we make 100%.” @laflowers
“Perhaps, just like so many other trying times in our nation’s history, this is one opportunity for our younger generation to lead the way. What if we did just that? What if we stepped aside and allowed them to show us how it’s done? To encourage, support, and lift them a little higher?” –@Teachmama
“But comfort is overrated. Because being quiet is comfortable. Keeping things the way they’ve been is comfortable. We’ve got to get comfortable with being uncomfortable by speaking these hard truths when they’re necessary.” –@Luvvie
“My children, by virtue of being beyond kind, beyond patient & beyond human, remind me every day to be a kinder person everywhere I go. ” –@Fostermoms
“Silence is not golden. To all those who have struggled to be heard, know that everybody has a story and a voice that deserves to be heard. Own it. Use it to inspire, help and lead.” –@Jeannettekaplun
“This country and our children being killed, American cities without clean water, US states still without electricity, and idiot politicians who only care about money is NOT normal. We’re not going to stop caring, talking, and working towards change. We shall not be moved. There’s too much to lose if we do. ” –@Brandijeter
“Taking my girls with me when I vote on Tuesday, because we have the great privilege of being able to vote at the polls instead of being arrested at them.” –@Roociam
“Children are the future! I am endlessly humbled by the perspectives of our world’s youth. ” –@MommasGoneCity
“I can do anything I put my mind to. Because it’s true. Remember thoughts are things friends. So if you find things going wrong stop and think: what are you saying to yourself? What have you told yourself you can or can’t do? Positive thinking is life changing. Try it!” –@lasahwnwiltz