Hi folks! Adriana here.
March 8th marks International Women’s Day. It was first observed in 1911 in Denmark, Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. Over the years it has come to represent a celebration of women’s achievements, to raise awareness, and to advocate for equity.
This year’s theme is Choose to Challenge - to choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality.
For me, I have chosen to challenge and reflect on my own gender bias. I grew up with amazing parents. Looking back now, I don’t think I truly realized how amazing my mom is and was. She moved to a new country to marry my father; couldn’t work her chosen profession because she wasn’t a citizen; raised two children (only one year apart) while working part time retail jobs; decided to go back to school full time to become a librarian - all while putting up with the fun of raising two teenage daughters in the 1990s (yes, I went through my goth/“I hate the world phase” - sorry mom).
Even as a teenager, I never wanted to get married or have children - at 41, I still don’t. The awesome part with both my parents - is that I was never bugged about that. I *never* heard “Adriana, when will you settle down and have kids?”. I of course heard that in the culture I was raised in. Whether it was the tropes in films that couldn’t have a strong female lead character that was not helped by a man or “swept off her feet” by a man, or the “are you married” questions I was asked when I met new people, it is hard to not take those influences in your life and not begin to internalize them. Should I be married? Am I not a whole person because I don’t have a partner? Am I not contributing to the future by not having children? It are those internalized gender biases that I continue to wrestle with everyday.
I am happy to identify as a woman, I am happy to continue to Choose to Challenge the biases in the world (especially women of colour; transwomen; women with various abilities), but also the biases I hold to myself that prevent me from being happy with who I am - outside of the comparisons I have to make against men - and also other women.
How will you Choose to Challenge?
Thanks for reading.