by Leslie Brooks
When I agreed to go watch a screening of Pretty Faces I have to admit I had no idea what the film was about, all I knew is that it sounded cool and I figured I could take myself out for a night of some good feminist rah-rah inspiration. This film seriously knocked my socks off and reframed my thinking about International Women’s Day.
Before going I thought what is the point of this day? because sometimes it seems like we women are always giving each other messages and inspiration that falls very much along the lines of slactivism, no real call to action. And the archaic video on the International Women’s Day website that begins with a history lesson on how it all started in Russia, is a snooze-fest advertisement for what seems like a mock Valentine’s Day. I thought, International Women’s Day is not for me. It is not changing anything.
But after attending the event I think maybe that is the point, for me anyway. It’s not about one day, because one day doesn’t change anything. It’s shouting into the chasm “Hey we are still here and we still need attention” but then Monday rolls around and it’s another International Something-else Important Day.
I sound cynical I know. Then I heard the ladies from the film and the women on the Calgary board speak and I thought Ah-ha – it isn’t just one day for them and it shouldn’t be for anyone. It shouldn’t be for me.
Embracing the idea of building up women doesn’t have to be a huge feminist burden to bear. It can be actions in your everyday life that show your community that women matter and there is still work to be done in changing our society’s thoughts.
A line from the credits in the film is what stayed with me
Don’t seek empowerment, you already own it.
It is true it is already in us, we just have to use it. As women go forth and build strong communities and support each other. Stop knocking down other moms for not doing it one way, or women for wearing it a certain way. Start building each up, showing other women they already own empowerment as well. Because once that is happening the world changes bit by bit; our daughters see women can ski off mountains like the women of Pretty Faces.
That you can ski like a girl, throw like a girl, run like a girl, THINK like a girl, build like a girl, love like a girl and kick butt like a girl. That “like a girl” means watch out but don’t be afraid because there is space for everyone in a community that supports all people equally. Nothing but good can come from more strength and owning your empowerment, you can change the world just by standing up for the right way of thinking in the smallest of ways.
So what does International Women’s Day mean to me? It means “wake up lady, there is still work to be done!” I will try to coast less and lift up women more.
How about you? What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
**Whether Leslie Brooks knows it or not, she has found her empowerment and set out to create a product that pulled together her unique skills and also helps others. She’s the founder of Hippo Hug Weighted Blankets and also shares her views on her blog Ruff Ruminations.