Life / News

For Women’s International Day

Today is International Women’s Day. Some will say that this day is trivial and that women have achieved equality. Others will proclaim that women should be celebrated 365 days a year. I tend to agree with the latter, especially because if 2017 taught us anything, it’s that we still h ave very long way to go. For the most part, we lead privileged lives in North America, but the same cannot be said for other areas of the world. This is why today is so meaningful. Maripier and her mother Marie-Claude wanted to share this message with you.

Maripier

When women work together, we can move mountains. We can start revolutions. Just think of #metoo, #etmaintenant and #timesup. Next step? Securing equal pay for equal work.

And of course, that’s only one piece of the puzzle. While today is meant to be a celebration of our strength, it’s imperative to admit that women are their own toughest critics. We’re hard on ourselves, in part because of the pressure society puts upon us.

I’m too skinny, too fat, my breasts are too droopy, I should eat more greens, I should be vegan, I’m not a #fitmom, I should work regularly, I can’t cook a freaking rack of lamb, I’m not in the corner office, I don’t excel enough, my three year old doesn’t speak three languages, I should initiate sex with my significant other more often… WHOA! ENOUGH!

Today and every day, I challenge you to be kinder and more forgiving towards yourself. To love and accept yourself just the way you are. Women are great at supporting each other, why can’t we do the same for ourselves? I’ll go first first—but I want you to follow my lead.

There’s a lot of work ethic, determination and ambition packed into my 5 foot 4 inch frame. When I really, truly smile, my top lip disappears and I suddenly look exactly like my mom. I love it. Despite my crazy work hours, I’m a good friend, sister, daughter and wife. I’m far from perfect, but I do my very best and that’s more than enough. Actually, I’m killing it.

So how about you?

I want us to love each other, to respect each other, to speak up for ourselves, and to believe in each other. Not just today, but every day. If we start by loving ourselves, I’m convinced that it can only help advance the cause of women’s rights.

On that note, I’d like to tell my followers, all of you who are reading this right now, that you’re my source of inspiration. The stay-at-home-mom, the career woman, the student, the retiree, the grandma… You’re the reason I love doing what I do. You make me feel so appreciated and I can’t tell you how much it means to me. Cheers!

Marie-Claude Fortin

As a woman, I question whether this day should even exist in 2018. Sadly, I know the answer all to well.

Today is about remembering, quite simply. The past is paved with examples of injustice, discrimination and violence towards women. Thank you Rosa Parks for refusing to give up your seat. Thank you Lucille Teasdale for being determined to become a doctor. Thank you to the thousands of women whose gestures big and small helped advance the cause.

Despite their efforts, the fight is far from over. When I’m before my students or surrounded by colleagues, it’s easy to forget that it’s not so easy for other women. All over the world, women are treated as subordinates, have their voices extinguished, and are even killed.

Equality between men and women is precious.

Equity is a right.

As a woman, I hope this day becomes superfluous.

That will be the day we can consider mission accomplished.

Marie-Claude Fortin
Teacher