I just want to give a huge shout out to the resilient women in the world that have created the option for today’s women to lead the lives that we do. With International Women’s Day yesterday, there seems to be no better way of kicking off the theme of ‘Resilience’ this month.
These women that I’m talking about are the ones that were shut down, and in some cases shot down, yet always stood back up and kept fighting. The suffragettes, the Rosie the Riveters, the female soldiers, the female politicians, the female CEOs, the list goes on… Those women across history and across cultures that have shown their strength time and time again in the fight for something better; something better not just for themselves, but for you and me as well.
Suffragettes, particularly in the UK, were often seen as the objects of ridicule, just more whiny women. (When haven’t we heard that before?!) Their hunger strikes and protests were simply interpreted as further evidence that women were too emotional and couldn’t think as logically as men. The very word suffragette was intended to be derogatory, but those women turned it right around saying that they were the “suffraGETtes”.
How were these women able to be so resilient? Amongst a million personality strengths there are two things that stand out:
- They were fighting for something bigger than themselves
They were fighting for a cause that they really, truly, to the core believed in. Each woman knew it was bigger than her, and that gave her a kind of hardiness she couldn’t have gotten on her own. When we know our contribution is to change the lives not just of many people around us, but of many generations, then we know that it’s more important to recover from a loss than shrivel up.
- They didn’t do it alone!
They had sisters in arms. They had people to encourage them and to pick them up when they fell down. When we need to sort through the stuff in our lives we need to do it in community with our sisters. We shouldn’t assume we can do it alone! We are community-oriented creatures, and we need to have some trust in that when we are making big changes. All we need to do is reach out.
These two facts have been proven over and over again when it comes to women, our rights, and those who have fought for them. Look at Rosie the Riveter. While yes, she is just a marketing campaign; there were real women who made the jump to work in trades during World War II. The social movement that Rosie the Riveter instigated increased the number of women in the American workforce 57%! They knew that if they didn’t step up together, despite the stigma of women taking on these roles, the essential jobs of war just wouldn’t get done. Their drive to action opened the doors for all of us in business or industry today.
I’m inspired, I’m motivated and I’m eternally grateful for all of the tough women out there. Thank you for your courage. Thank you for your strength. Most importantly, thank you for your resilience.
Okay over to you:
Who are resilient women that stand out to you? What do you think allowed them to be so strong? How did you celebrate International Women’s Day? I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below.
P.S. I have a new e-book! How To Stop Running on Empty is all about making little changes to give yourself a little more time and a little more sanity. Even better, it’s completely FREE! Just sign-up to ‘Get Signý‘ to get your copy as well as regular doses of inspiration and little updates delivered to your inbox.