International Women’s Day

To celebrate International Women’s Day I reached out to my social media asking for responses towards National Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day. I got 5 amazing responses from women who have never been featured on this blog, which is really exciting for me. I love hearing new ideas and viewpoints, especially on this topic.

I gave them a very broad idea of what to write about. I asked them to write about the women who inspire them, what they do to inspire other women, what it means to be a woman in today’s day and age, sexism, equality, etc. and they all went different ways, which is incredible!

I hope you enjoy what they have to say! ❤

Ashley Marsh:
For International Women’s Day, I wanted to just quickly tell you all to encourage women, especially today. Uplift the women in your lives. Empower them. Love them. Encourage them. Be proud of them, and tell them. They are all worthy of love and attention.

Melissa Holbrook:
I chose Ava DuVernay as my modern inspiration for human rights. She is best known for her documentaries including 13th and Selma. Recently directing the anticipated blockbuster “A Wrinkle In Time”. She is one of a kind in her field. Being an African American woman directing, screenwriting, and producing many of her own films. She has been nominated for best picture and best documentary. She has done so much to shine a spotlight on controversial topics, making them into dinner table conversations. That’s why I think she is one of our models for modern day feminism and equality.

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Jacarri Kelley:
She choose a quote from Ella Baker, which is true to her cause and I love it!
“Until the killing of Black men, Black mothers’ sons, becomes as important to the rest of the country as the killing of a White mothers’ sons, we who believe in freedom can not rest until this happens.”
-Ella Baker

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Amanda Speights:
My name is Amanda Speights and I am a woman, an American woman.  I am free to
vote, have a college degree, use birth control, drive a car, own a car, be an
entrepreneur, be a mother, be a wife, read the books I choose to read, worship the god I
choose to worship, live with the beliefs of my choosing, and wear whatever I feel like
wearing.  I am a white American woman free to have an African-American man as my
husband.
My father was abusive and sexist. He beat my mother. He beat me. He told us we’d
never make anything of ourselves. He said children were to be seen and not heard. He
said women should be pregnant and barefoot. He told my sister and me that the only
way to keep a man was to please him sexually…my son was born less than 3 months
after my 16 birthday. My dad then called me a whore, and he called my son a bastard.
My husband, a soldier in the United States Air Force at the time, was pulled over by a
white police officer for a made up reason. The license plate light wasn’t bright enough.
He made my husband get out of the car, he searched him, he searched his car, all while
calling him “Boy”, and then dumped my husband’s Coca-Cola in his driver’s seat before
sending him on his way, because he had no reason to either ticket or arrest him.
These are just two of the many personal stories I have to show sexism and racism in
this country.  Have we come a long way in the fact that I can legally vote, and legally be
married to my husband?  Yes, we have!  However, it’s still not enough.  Am I just being
greedy?  A white American man has more rights and privileges than anyone.  So no, I
believe we ALL have just as much right to freedoms and privileges as that guy!
Equality is the name of the game. We all deserve equal treatment. I find it interesting
that in Sunday schools all across this country they are teaching children to sing “Red
and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his site” yet they want to deport people
due to skin color.  I am a believer in God so I am not speaking against Him.  I am
speaking against so-called Christians.  Jesus warned of the hypocrites who like to look
and act the part of being a Christian but who do not know God in their hearts at all.
Sitting anything on the bible was a sin when I was growing up, yet no one obeyed the
words written within.  The Ten Commandments, love your neighbor, none of it really
meant anything, but heaven forbid you sat your car keys on the book itself! This reminds
me of the people who act like they are so patriotic to stand for the flag yet do not abide
by the Constitution.  There are those hypocrites Jesus warned us about again!
I hope I am the number one woman, with all the right characteristics, who my daughter
can look up to and aspire to be.  As a little girl with African-American blood pumping
through her veins, I hope she will look up to other amazing women, like Michelle
Obama.  A woman of color who is not just beautiful on the outside but on the inside as
well.  A woman of color who is educated and strong yet has a tender heart.  A woman
of color who has morals and values is down-to-earth and graceful.  A woman of color
who stands up and fights for what she believes in.
We should all be women with these qualities.  Our little girls, and boys too need strong,
powerful women to look up to.  Our little girls need role models who show both persistence and grace. We must pave the way for our girls to have even more rights
and privileges than we do, no matter their color, ethnicity, or religion.
Finally, in light of the recent school shootings, we need to raise our voices for tougher
gun laws.  There is no reason for a person with mental illness to own a gun of any kind,
period.  There is no reason for a person to own a military-style assault rifle of any kind,
period.
I was listening to Paul Ryan say that gun restrictions won’t help because people will find
a way to still commit crimes.  Imagine if we took that thought process on in other areas
where we have rules and laws? What if we stopped having restrictions on airplanes and
feeling people up because they’ll do what they want anyway? This is downright idiotic!
He just doesn’t want to give up his money from the NRA. Enough is enough! Too many
of our children, and innocent Americans have been gunned down because of
Republican greed!
We know the power of change when women come together because we’ve seen it over
the last year. Let’s keep up the momentum! In the end, we should hear, “Never the less,
she persisted”!

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Krystal Fullmer
“Feminism isn’t about making women strong. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.” —G.D. Anderson
I start with this quote because I find such a strong force of energy radiating from the words. It is true; women have always been and will always be strong. However, I find the strength of our honesty, sincerity, and vulnerability is often misconstrued as weakness. Vulnerability is defined as “the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally”. Vulnerability is not weakness but rather courage.  That is part of what makes me so passionate about empowerment and awareness for all woman.
I went through the stereotypical weak woman phase. I went through the stereotypical hate all other women phase. My journey through those dark and less prideful paths of my life all made me who I am now. A strong woman, who wants to celebrate, empower, persuade and raise other strong women. It is time we come together globally and retrain our awareness to focus on new light.
Let us face it; the human race would literally cease to exist if it was not for women. I do not mean to be arrogant, but to be misogynistic in today’s society is just outdated. It is time we absorb the energy that comes from accepting that we as women are that powerful. Statistically speaking, there are over 7billion people in the world today that we know of. That is 7 billion people created by a woman. Think about the sheer volume and contribution of that. 7 billion people, an average of 63 billion months carrying a child in the womb, an average of 56 billion hours of labor, 84 billion daily bottle feedings for newborn babies. The magnitude of what we sacrifice to make the world turn does not deserve to go unnoticed or uncelebrated.
We need to step up. We need to be the change we want to see in the world. It starts with us. It is time for us to look at one another and say, “WOW, you are beautiful, you are appreciated, you are strong, you are worth it, and you deserve to exist”. This is my message and my goal. To help empower other women. I want every woman, of every age, of every color, of every nationality, to know whole-heartedly and without a doubt:
YOU ARE WORTH IT. YOU ARE APPRECIATED. YOU ARE A QUEEN. 

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Stephanie Ryan:
A Thank You Letter to Them,
You whistled and beckoned to me like I was a dog – quite literally – then ordered me to do another task that was not part of my job description. Thank you.
You were already proving to be a piece of garbage, but I was afraid of quitting a job on bad terms. I thought the problem was me. You showed me that some people are nothing more than shit and walking away from that situation was so liberating. Thank you, because I learned then that I wouldn’t take that behavior from anyone else.
You and your roommate convinced me to come over to your place under false pretenses – then he suddenly had to leave and you made your move. Thank you.
You were great to work with, friendly and nice compared to the other manager that was such a hard ass. I did not want to be alone with you and was not attracted to you, but you told me that you could tell I wanted what was happening. I thought the problem was mine. You decided to stop and answer your phone when it rang, giving me enough room to stand up and get out. Thank you, because I learned then that I would never not be clear about my intentions again.
You were the only other woman in the office with me – and you were so cruel. Thank you.
You did your best to make me feel like I was lower than dirt, stupid, and annoying. You suffocated me in your negativity and kicked me when I was down – saying you couldn’t believe that I would leave my baby and go back to work on the day I returned to the office. Thank you, because I learned the importance of building up other women instead of tearing them down.
Wait.
No.
Fuck that.
You were a terrible boss, you demeaned me and my coworkers – there is no surprise that your business failed. THANK YOU TO THE OTHER WOMEN I WORKED WITH THAT SUPPORTED ME AS I WAS WALKING OUT OF THE OFFICE – THE OTHER WOMEN THAT WALKED OUT WITH ME.
You were a terrible friend, you attacked me. I was fortunate that you were distracted before it went too far, so many other women are not as lucky. THANK YOU TO THE WOMEN BEHIND THE #METOO MOVEMENT BECAUSE I SPENT YEARS TELLING MYSELF THAT IT WASN’T AN ATTACK, NOT WILLING TO BELIEVE MYSELF DESPITE THE SCARS.
You were an opportunity to fail myself and other women in my life, I could have followed you down your path of darkness. THANK YOU TO MYSELF FOR NOT GIVING IN AND FOR REACHING OUT FOR HELP WHEN I NEEDED IT.
All of you are a part of my story, but YOU ARE NOT THE STORY. I AM. Thank you, to myself, for recognizing that and for changing the narrative.
Thank you, to myself, for understanding that I cannot only know this for myself but should share this with others. I should make sure other people understand that their story is THEIR STORY and they are in charge of how it gets told.
We should all hold on our own light up high, help others do the same, because when we only seek to dim the lights of others – the world becomes a darker place, where people are a lot less thankful for the amazing things that they have to share.
One day, I’ll feel brave enough to share this. Thank you to the people that read it for giving me a space to shine my own light and please remember to hold your light up. I can’t wait to see how amazing you are.
Sincerely,
Me.

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Much Love,
Ashley

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