Today is the day to celebrate all women around the globe and their achievements. No matter how small and personal, political, or economical these achievements are, every woman deserves to be appreciated and respected.
However, next to flowers and other gestures of appreciation towards our mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends, this day is equally great for raising awareness. Unfortunately our world still struggles with gender inequality. So, on this very day (and actually every other day of the year) we all can participate and start by raising awareness, lobbying for accelerated gender parity, rally for equality, or support female-focused charities.
The official International Women’s Day website also announced the theme for 2021: Choose To Challenge. They say that “a challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day.
We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world. From challenge comes change, so let’s all choose to challenge.”
In order to raise more awareness and to offer some food for thought we asked our TITLE editors to give a little statement on womanhood and feminism. These diverse answers show how beautiful and important women are for this world.
How have (influential) women impacted your life?
Anne: As an only child of a single mother, the most influential women who impacted my life were the heroines I could see on TV when I was home alone. I guess it’s quite common that young children look up to characters who are alike their mothers, which in my case were those in male jobs and positions, who never doubted their role. It was a Tina Turner who rocked the stage just like Mick Jagger, it was Lieutenant Uhura, who naturally operated the Enterprise’s technology with constant pace, it was Tia Carrere as Sydney in Relic Hunter, who dug in the dirt, kicked ass and experienced adventures just like Indiana Jones, who, alongside many other female protagonists of my childhood‘s TV program, taught me, that women in fact absolutely are equal. That’s the reason why I never doubted, if I could do or be this and that. For me that’s never actually been a question, ever! I guess, all those heroines formed my self-esteem at a very young age and I am very thankful for knowing from the start that everybody who wants to put me into a lower position is simply wrong and not worth my energy.
Kathrin: Women have influenced just about every major decision I’ve made in my life:
The elegance of an Audrey Hepburn moved me to want to walk through life upright and stylish.
The headstrongness of a Diane Vreeland moved me to perceive fashion as art, as an emancipatory medium.
The intelligence and willpower of a Ruth Bader Ginsburg motivated me to want to understand the basics of law and justice.
The talent of a Virgina Woolf convinced me to choose language as a craft and a form of artistic expression.
And my mother’s love is my eternal drive to understand life and womanhood as a gift.
Laura: To be honest it took me a while to realize that other women aren’t your enemy and jealousy is a societal construct deeply ingrained in our minds. I was bullied a lot during my childhood and I constantly compared myself with the more popular girls in school and the perfectly skinny models on magazine covers. For me, it was and is an ongoing journey towards self love and the realization of how powerful the impact of other women can be. Empowerment, support, and a sense of community became increasingly important to me and by now I wouldn’t want to miss any woman in my life. No matter how small the interaction between women is, I believe even small gestures, a supportive nod, a smile, a hug, can spark something in your opposite. Therefore, I don’t think I can pinpoint one specific woman who impacted me the most, but I believe womanhood in general and the ways in which we can lift each other up are so diverse and hence beautiful. I love being a woman, and I am beyond thankful for all the powerful, inspiring, and strong women out there who fight for gender equality! Together!
Anna: Women in general impact(ed) my life a lot. I danced to Rihanna, sang along to Beyonce and cried to Adele and Lana del Ray (mostly happy tears). I am a woman. I can give life. Still, I am often not seen as “equal” in any way by men, who are thinking like pre-teen boys. Women like Malala Yousafzai, Greta Thunberg, Marie Curie, Amanda Gorman, Kleopatra VII., Anna Wintour etc. show(ed) us that being a woman is no “disadvantage” in any way: just because I have a vagina (plus I don’t even need a vagina to BE AND FEEL like a women) doesn’t mean I can’t succeed in my job, save the world, conquer an empire or win a fucking Nobel Prize. It just means that people tend to think that I’m “soft” and “nice”. And guess what world? We can be all of that too, but it’s simply not your business or your choice. Get a grip on that. Women came a long way and endured a lot of pain – they didn’t come to play!
header graphics by Celine Nguyen