Happy International Women’s Day!

March 8th, 2017 is a day of celebration and action.

Even if you can’t take off work today, begin by celebrating yourself and your achievements. Turn to a fresh page in a journal or a blank document on your computer and begin: Today, I celebrate myself because… Freewrite. Use bold, bald, raw, innovative language. Forget grammar. Speak.

Remember what Audre Lorde said:

Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare.

Next, who do you want to celebrate? Which cis and trans women in your life have shaped you and made you a stronger, more capable human being? For me, my mother is the feminist icon in my life. I can never thank her enough for showing me that we continue to learn no matter our age. She continues to teach me that compassion and empathy are never weaknesses and that we have strength as women. Today, I can let her know what she means to me.

As Roxane Gay writes in the introduction to her collection of essays, Bad Feminist, “Feminism is a choice, and if a woman does not want to be a feminist, that is her right, but it is still my responsibility to fight for her rights.” Celebrate the cis and trans women in your life, even the ones who disavow feminism. While my grandmother was alive, she called getting your period “a curse”, warned my brother and I about being perceived “as a queer” and did not support my mother’s emotional needs. All the same, she never stopped believing that I could be the most intelligent, most daring woman if I put in the work and believed enough in myself. My grandmother was not a feminist, but she gave me the confidence to succeed and for that I thank her and her memory this International Women’s Day.

Celebrate your friends. Share your writer friends’ publications on social media. Let your friends in other fields know that you support and appreciate their work. Build each other up.

And now, it’s time to act.

Support feminist organizations and civil liberty organizations. If you do not have the funds to donate, share their posts on social media, go to a meeting. Support feminist publications. Buy from feminist book stores.

Love yourself. Love others. Happy International Women’s Day.

Love and solidarity,