In honor of International Women’s Day, we asked our staff to define what makes women…so amazing? We figured this would receive a more diverse answer than something akin to, “what woman inspires you most” (most likely answer being mama). You know us…always trying to be the pinnacle of progressivism! Don’t be shy–add in your own stories and reasons in our comments section, below! –Saysomphorn Sisavatdy, firstname.lastname@example.org
History is full of amazing women: Rosa Parks, Marie Curie, Joan of Arc, Frida Kahlo. They’re among many who have changed the world with their actions and accomplishments; but I want to celebrate every day women, and their resilience. In our society, we’re expected to take so many roles: mother, spouse, daughter, student, employee. The list is endless and it means something different to everybody. But what we all have in common is that we’re expected to hold it down at home, work, and/or school and act as though it’s easy. It isn’t always, but still, we push through and make it work. We give it our all, rising above obstacles like exhaustion, discrimination, and lack of resources. Oftentimes we do so without complaining or asking for anything in return. So, to the student working 2 jobs, the woman putting her all into her passions and her work, the mother trying to survive toddlerhood, the daughter and sister helping take care of family… I see you, I salute you.
Happy International Women’s Day.
It seems to me, in my experience, women make better leaders than men. I don’t know what it is, but while us boys are flexing our bicep muscles, the girls are the one using their brains, in most cases. Though they have biceps too. There are two wonderful and strong women I know that have showed me the true meaning of resilience in the face of the storm. They are event directors I worked for and they are stirring up all sorts of trouble, of the good kind, in Laos, organizing sports events and whatnot. In Laos: where on time is an hour late, five minutes mean a few days, and promises aren’t worth much; a hassle for the organizing of any event. No matter how intense the heat gets, they manage to always stay cool and get us out of whatever predicament we find ourselves in. They make it work.
Janit Von Saechao:
As someone who identifies as gender non-conforming, womanhood has always been something like a box for me. But I realize that despite that box, I have always grown past and broke through the expectations set forth for me according to what others assumed were inherent to being a woman. I know I am not the only one. I’ve seen my then single mother walk the stage to receive her AA degree at 8 months pregnant. I continue to witness the journey of my grandmother, a 60-something year old Mien woman with no formal education, as she brings herself to adult school every morning (a routine she’s been committed to since I was a young child) to practice English and learn US History. That’s the part that inspires me most about women and non-men: their ability to envision and move towards a purpose much greater than the circumstances they are faced with. And I am always in awe of the transcendence of their beings, their unwavering ability to bring all of themselves into a room despite the binds and barriers systemically placed around them.
The same qualities I respect are the same qualities I tend to cringe over. That’s the rub. So, for me, it’s the rub. It’s the multi-faceted way a woman can be whomever she chooses to be; in that instance, for that event or purpose, at any given moment, that strays from the person she is. And yet, it never changes who she is at the core. Those flashes of a different hue to her personality don’t make her question her manhood or sanity. She’s unruffled by bending with the branches and dancing with the devil, all while staying true to her Buddhist beliefs. It’s how she’s able to accept flaws, love, and move on. Women navigate life with all these expectations from within and without: heavy with restrictions; stopping, stuttering, and moving through multitudes of unflattering lenses. One soul crushing item after another meant to pull her down and change the person she knows herself to be. It’s been the same for every woman that have come before, meanwhile the pile increases unceasingly…and yet, somehow we still make it out the other end, core intact, soaring with new shades and scents.
Bryan Thao Worra:
I wouldn’t have become who I am without some amazing women in my life, and those who paved the way for us well before my time, as well. They’ve been role models and teachers, driven and committed to excellence, and there’s always been something to learn from both their successes and their challenges, their ongoing struggles and what they try to build for themselves. The ones I’ve looked up to most built an atmosphere of inclusion and took chances on me and others to bring out the best in us, and put up with us when we were still very rough around the edges. It drives me to pay it forward and mentor others and support the next generation.