International Women’s Day

Why Resist?

Because I believe in protecting the rights of the marginalized, especially women, children, and the disabled.

Even though we have much to work do in our country, I tell myself to work on myself. Make a difference in the ways I can. Work on the things in my realm. This is the way I dug myself out of the 9 11 morass. I did small acts of kindness. I cleaned my kitchen. I joined forces with people who focused on children. I worked for social justice, which means a lot to me. I worked with the General Board of Global Ministries and United Methodist Women. My life has been about fostering sisterhood and brotherhood across borders and countries, which are, let’s face it, arbitrary lines on a map, subject to interpretation. I’m now teaching. And teachers can make a difference.


Why International Women?

When I went to China for the women’s conference in 1995, I was amazed by the beautiful diversity of women around the globe and the work they do. Especially women activists – rural women, college women, labor advocates, environmentalists. I don’t know if international women will save the world. But I think it’s possible. I find hope in knowing that there are countries where women political leaders are not anomalies. Diverse leadership teams always succeed in ways that homogeneous teams do not.

Young international women, too, like Malala Yousafzai, are making a world of difference. Can you imagine being shot by the Taliban and then rising like a phoenix from those ashes to write and speak so brilliantly (and win a Nobel prize!)?

well behaved womenSo Why Now?

I enjoy Maria Shriver’s weekly newsletter. In last Sunday’s paper, she said:

Feminine power is available to every woman because power starts within. You don’t have to act like a guy, talk like a guy, or dress like a guy to be powerful. You have to talk, act, dress, and think like the person that you are.

It’s not a man’s world. It’s everyone’s world, and it’s ours to go out and make better.

Yes, we have the power. We have the international connections. We have the authenticity to start right where we are. To do something, anything — with compassion. We can write a postcard, support a teacher, speak highly of women leaders, join a march,  vote, organize a huddle, diversify our boardrooms, or run for office.

On International Women’s Day and every day, women are looking out for each other, for children, for people with disabilities. And we are facing fear with love. We are calling out hypocrisies. We are finding our why and sharing it.

These are some of the reasons why I’m proud to wear red today and I’m proud to be a woman every day. I celebrate international womanhood and sisterhood!

I love my aunts

Have to wake the darlings in a minute or two, but wanted to dash this off.. Aunts are the best. They love you unconditionally.

I just finished reading this blog about Aunt Ba and pancakes, how Molly’s aunt told her stories of fairies and made her pancakes every Wednesday. Delicious writing at:

Another great read — Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, where Francie Nolan talks about her aunts. Smith writes:

“Mama came home at six with Aunt Sissy. Francie was very glad to see Aunt Sissy. She was her favorite aunt. Francie loved her and was fascinated by her life. She was thirty-five now, had been married three times, and had given birth to ten children, all of whom had died…”

Betty Smith is as wonderful and loving at creating amazing characters and locales as Dylan Thomas or James Joyce.

Aunt Kathy is far right, gazing off.

My aunts too are characters. So are my kids’ great aunts, aunts and cousins. They can be quirky and eccentric, always smart. I love that Chris’s cousin, known as Aunt Betsy, tells my kids stories about Johnny Jump-Up, the gnome who lives in the Big House basement. I love that my Aunt Kathy has a dolphin collection that the kids can touch. The aunts, especially Aunt Kathy and Aunt Betsy, talk to me and the kids like our opinions really matter. Like they want to know what we think.

Yesterday was International Women’s Day, the 100th anniversary. This morning at work, I am co-leading a worship service to remind people of the women who make history, in big ways and small ways. We are going to celebrate the women whom we work with and live with every day. Our everyday heroes? They are my aunts. (And my kids’ aunts.)