I have heard before that “women hold up half of the sky,” and that quote ran through my head yesterday in celebration of International Women’s Day.
As I was doing my grocery shopping, I witnessed a great celebration from two people who probably didn’t even know that they were the ones throwing the party. In the produce section, I saw a father and his little girl picking out vegetables. I smiled as the father was asking his daughter, who was probably about 4 or 5 or years old, “Now you have to remind me. Which ones are broccoli and which ones are celery?” With a big smile on her face, the little girl pointed at the vegetables and helped her father put them into the cart. “Good job,” the father praised her, “you’re so good at this!” It was such a beautiful image of what happens when a father figure shows support to his little girl, even in the smallest of ways.
In celebration of the women, I feel like it’s important to remember that the other half of the sky is held up by men. What I saw at my local Safeway was that when we work together, women and men, we hold up the sky together. It’s not about what women do or what men do, it’s what we collectively do to celebrate and uplift one another that matters.
I have to tip my hat to the women who have fought for equal rights-the Susan B. Anthonys, the Rosa Parks, the Corazon Aquinos, the Hillary Clintons, the Condoleeza Rices–all these phenomenal women who have throughout the ages struggled to ensure that women have the rights they have today. But I think that it’s equally as important to celebrate the heroes, big and small, who have led those women to be who they are. This includes the men in their lives who have supported them–the fathers, husbands, brothers, and uncles, who have stood up and told a woman, “You CAN run for president….You ARE smart enough…You ARE beautiful…You ARE capable…You ARE loved.”
Of course I believe that it’s important to celebrate as a sisterhood the unique qualities that make a woman a woman, but I think we’re missing half the point of we didn’t also invite men to the party. After all, we can do anything, but we can’t do it alone.