“Here’s to strong women: may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.”
I know that quote has been overused, but it’s still such a good one. I don’t even have kids, and yet it makes me want to run out and start raising a strong daughter tomorrow. I was raised in a family dominated by women so it was completely normal watching women make household decisions, build their careers, and have every bit as much power as the men in their life. If you had asked me ten years ago if I considered myself the f-word (you know, feminist), I probably would have brushed it off saying something along the lines of “I don’t really want to put a label on it” (or something equally terrible).
Now, it’s 2018, and I’ve spent the last year watching our country fall into the hands of a man who exemplifies the worst of stereotypical male qualities. I know people don’t like the look of politics on their fashion bloggers, but we’ve reached a point where feminism and politics can’t be discussed without the other. I’ve had every opportunity available to me in my life, and, yet, the day after the election, I had to grapple with the fact a large majority of the American public, some within my own family, told me that their 401ks (or whatever drove them to cast that vote) were more important than my rights as a woman. You can call it “locker room talk” all you want, but every woman got the message that day that a rich, powerful man can grab you by the pussy and get away with it. We can act like we’re above other countries because we let women drive and make their own reproductive choices (well, for now), but we’ve still got work to do.
I think the election became such a huge moment for me because it opened up a serious dialogue between me and my mom. She raised us in her hometown which was loud, proud, and very, very red. It’s in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the most churches per square capita, and home to Wheaton College where not even teachers can drink alcohol. I never really thought about politics growing up, but everything seemed relatively easy. (Perhaps that’s just naivete, but George Bush really doesn’t seem all that bad now.) My mom and I always agreed on most social issues, but we never talked about it very much. Over the course of the past year, I’ve seen a fire lit under my mom like I’ve never seen before. It may have started out as arguing with strangers on Facebook (it was a dark time), but she’s now channeled that into pursuing passions she’d had for years. And she’s kicking butt. She’s one of the biggest reasons I started another blog, and she’s encouraging me to live life at my own pace. For Christmas, I got her a necklace that says “The Future Is Female,” and it’s become our little mantra. Don’t get me wrong- we love the boys in our life, but it’s time that women got the spotlight for a bit.
I can’t finish this post without mentioning how many amazing women I’ve had the opportunity to meet since coming back to Chicago. It seems like everywhere I turn I’m inspired by badass ladies who are paving their own paths and getting it done. Every day I get to work with incredible pediatric therapists, take Pure Barre classes with super strong women, and meet new Chicago business owners/bloggers who have accomplished it all on their own. Below is a list of my favorite Chicago ladies who are proving that the future is female-
Delaina J from Delaina J Designs, Rachel Barter at The Sass Room who convinced me to join Style Collective, Kristina at Kristina Does The Internets who I’ve blogger “known” for years,Susan Rothman at Pure Barre West Loop and Fulton Market District, Ali Reff from Alice and Wonder, Amy Vorel at Vo Jewelry, and Alaina Kaczmarski and Danielle Moss from The Everygirl who may or may not be my neighbors (honestly still can’t get over it). These ladies inspire me to continue building this little corner of the internet and keeping my creative side alive.
Here’s to the strong women everywhere, and may we continue building each other up!
Happy International Women’s Day!
(I also now see the irony in writing a post all about women and then featuring only pictures of myself, but I’m too tired to change it now. So just pretend I’m surrounded by amazing women in these photos.)