Celebrating International Women’s Day

Why it is important to applaud femininity and strength on a daily basis

Anna Malesiewski, Assistant Editor

International Women’s Day, which was observed Monday, is a day to celebrate women and call for progress to continue to be made. I want to call for the celebration of women not just on International Women’s Day, but every day.
To me, feminism is about pursuing equal rights for women, while also applauding and reflecting on women and femininity. “Feminine power” is not about women being more powerful than men – it is about the inherent influence and capability that women hold.
I hope to one day achieve a world where women do not have to be afraid. I hope to one day live in a world where I, my future daughters and all fellow women do not have to live in fear of danger or injustice.
I hope to live in a world where women are no longer seen as weak by some, and are seen as an opportunity to be taken advantage of. Women are strong, women are powerful, and I hope this strength and power becomes more validated and recognized.
I hope to live in a world where I feel that my body is truly mine. I love that now more than ever, women are expressive and free in fashion and dress. I love being free to express my femininity through the clothes and accessories I wear and the image I present.
I am grateful for the increasing presence of strong and fearless women in my personal life and popular culture. Music artists, businesswomen, academic women, my family members and more have all had a profound impact on my mentality that women have voices. And they can be loud.
I am who I am because of my mother. She is the strongest woman I have ever known. She is fearless in the pursuit of what she wants and who she is, and she will never let her voice be silenced. She has taught me what it means to be a woman of strength, and has encouraged me to unapologetically be the woman I was made to be.
I want to continue to recognize the beauty that is in every woman. It is one of my deepest hopes and prayers that all women will recognize this beauty as well. I want all women to feel confident in who they are and the skin they live in, regardless of the male gaze and the message it tries to send. I hope all women realize that they are inherently beautiful, and they are beautiful in and of themselves, simply by the fact of their existence.
I hope women continue to learn how to treat themselves. I hope women always have the knowledge that they are worthy and deserving of good things.
While today is a day to celebrate women, it is also a day to call for more work to be done. I hope men celebrate feminine beauty as well, and I hope all men protect and stand up for women. I will always call out and stand up for GOOD men, and I hope men do the same for women.
I hope with all my heart that a culture of love, appreciation and care exists between men and women.
I want to abolish the culture of harm and abuse that exists in some circles. It takes a weak boy to emotionally, physically, verbally or sexually abuse. But it takes a strong man to fight against these things.
As women, I want us to hold high expectations for the men in our lives. I hope we expect good fathers, boyfriends, husbands and friends. Expecting kindness and decency is not expecting too much.
I want women to keep celebrating each other. We need to stand with each other, not tear each other down. We are in this together.
Let us celebrate women today and every day.

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