I've always loved being a girl. From the time I was little, I looked upon my gender with pride, thinking that it was a central part of the reason I was strong, capable and independent.
Growing up, however, I realized that being girl was not always so easy...or at least not as easy as it was for my male counterparts.
As a girl, I've looked upon this past year with both caution and optimism. With the strident gains we've observed, from Hillary Clinton as the first presidential nominee of a major political party (and winner of the popular vote!) to Harriet Tubman announced as the new face of the $20 dollar bill (can I get a "dolla dolla bill y'all"?), we've also continued to be let down in our pursuit of gender equality.
Continuous remarks by a certain someone in a certain white house, combined with the political inaction, and more scarily, proactive political measures, threaten to deepen the divide between the equality of men and women. I mean just look at this guy.
The discontent among women and their treatment in society is nothing new, which is exactly what makes the agitation that much stronger; it's 2017, people...gender equality should be an item solidly checked off the to-do list.
However, if the attendance at the Women's March on Washington, estimated to be three times the size of Trump's inauguration, and the footprints heard and felt worldwide, are any indication of the might enlisted in the current battle for gender equality, then we are truly a force to be reckoned with.
As we approach International Women's Day on March 8, I've been scrutinizing my feminist gusto and ways to celebrate the holiday. Am I adhering to my feminist beliefs? Am I standing up for women like me? Am I an ally to other women who I don't inherently represent - women who are largely underrepresented within the realms of popular feminism?
This thinking formed a list of ways to celebrate International Women's Day like the girlboss you are and love.
Show your gratitude to important women in your life.
Moms, grandmothers, sisters, teachers, friends - give a holla to your girl gang or to any girl who has helped you become who you are today.
Host a party.
Throw a pregame, mixer, or house party in honor of the HBIC's you hold dear. Party to a playlist of all your favorite female artists, special drinks concocted and named for a woman (if anyone makes an HRC Pantsuit, DM me details), or make it themed and dress up as your girl-idol.
Watch, listen and read female creations.
Give a nod to powerful women by consuming (and loving) their masterpieces. We're talking Broad City, Inside Amy Schumer, Mean Girls, Bridesmaids, White Oleander by Janet Finch, the Lenny Letter, Lana Del Rey and Florence + the Machine, and the OG Mary Shelley's Frankentein. Heck let's even give a shout out to Avril Lavigne because why not.
Educate yourself on feminism.
Read up on what it means, it's history, and influential people. More importantly,though, try your best to learn about different types of feminism. Much of mainstream feminism is geared toward white, straight women, so try to learn about the issues and efforts of all feminisms and the intersectionality of different related issues.
Volunteer and donate money to organizations that benefit women.
There are organizations like Big Sister, Girl Scouts, Planned Parenthood, Shot@Life, Tostan, and Girls Not Brides among many many many more that need your help. Your gesture does not have to be big, in terms of time or money, because every small effort is truly meaningful.
Shop for a cause that helps women.
Treat yo' self with something that treats yo' gal pal in need at the same time. Don't Fuck With Us, Don't Fuck Without Us Planned Parenthood Pins, consent patches with a skeleton middle finger, Thinx period panties, and the Dior "We Should All Be Feminists" shirts (if you have $710 to play with LOL) are some of the cool options to add to your cart to celebrate March 8th.
Contact your political representatives and ask them to back initiatives that support women.
Make use of your right to be heard (and to be heard shouting something important!), as it is not a right afforded to every woman in the world. Not sure who your senators or representatives are? Here, use this.
Make a pledge to stop putting down women.
Take a cue from Michelle Obama (P.S. we miss you girlfriend) and go high when another girl goes low. Refuse to be negative towards a woman because of an action based on her own personal decisions. Call out people who say or do sexist things.