Sunday, 10 March 2013

International Women’s Day

I am honoured to share my birthday with International Women’s Day (Mar 8). All the posts on facebook and headlines in the news got me thinking about what it is to be a woman and about all my female friends. We defy any single description, except that we are women. When I think of my friends, they are many many things.

My girl friends are…

Pagan, atheist, agnostic and religious.
Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Sikh, Hindu and Christian.
Evangelical, Liberal, Contemplative, Pentecostal and Christianarchist.
Mothers, wish-they-were mothers and plan-never-to-become mothers.
Daughters. Sisters.
Some are chefs, others are challenged by much more than 2 min noodles.
They head up large institutions, captain ships, engineer buildings.
They choose to be full time home mums.
They have doctorates in theology, linguistics, philosophy and sciences.
They lecture at university and write books.
They volunteer at local soup kitchens and teach sewing to refugees.
They quietly get on with helping those around them without acknowledgement or thanks.
They live with bi-polar and depression, but still they shine.
They  are psychiatrists, helping their sisters (and brothers too).
They have lived through war, refugee camps, migration, language learning and culture shock, but still they live with love and joy.
Many have grieved the loss of partner or child.
Others grieve not finding a partner or having a child.
Others never planned a child and have a different grief process when faced with their own pregnancy.
They are married, single, polyamorous, in-between and undefined.
They are heterosexual, homosexual and transsexual.
They have lived and worked on every continent except Antarctica (although a guy friend has done that).
They crochet, carve, sew, weld, rig ships and knit.
They sing opera, funk, shanties and praise songs.
Some are ordained, others trained and waiting for the opportunity to be ordained and yet others do not believe women should be ordained.
They are vegans, vegetarians and butchers.
They are drunks and teetotallers.
They teach literacy to refugees, village kids, adults and in regular schools.
They start medical services in Africa.
They hike jungles collecting linguistic data.

They are my friends who inspire, challenge, comfort and correct me.
They are so much more than any of these labels.

We do not always agree, but we are still friends.
We are no one definable thing, but we are women.

Happy (belated) International Women’s Day! To all the women in my life… you are wonderful. Do not be confined by labels, but be yourself to the fullness of who you are created to be. Bring love, joy and hope to those around you.

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