Celebrating Women’s History and Raising Rebel Girls

Feminism is my favorite F word (now that’s really saying something). Yet, I’ve had conflicting feelings about Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day. Part of me feels like, “Geez, the amount of energy and attention we have to put forth to advocate for equality and commemoration of female achievements clearly states we are missing equity.” And I fear we always will.

My duplicity is warranted, and it’s OK to acknowledge it during events like the most recent presidential inauguration, for example, when Kamala Harris was sworn in as the Vice President. I have every right to roll my eyes and mutter, “This should have happened a LONG time ago,” while those same eyes well up with tears of pride and hope.

What is women’s history to me? What is it to you? To me, it’s the achievements. It’s Marie Curie being the first woman to be awarded a Nobel Prize. It’s Bessie Coleman being the first black woman to hold a pilot’s license and the daredevil stunts she maneuvered. It’s Kathryn Bigelow winning an Oscar for directing…still the only woman to win the title. It’s Sarah McBride becoming the first transgender state senator. It’s also the tribulations. It’s Virginia Woolf being refused admittance to a library. It’s Andy Murray correcting reporters who called him the best tennis player: Serena Williams is the absolute greatest; it’s just that she’s a SHE. It’s the opinion that women can’t be funny when they make us laugh endlessly: Maya Rudolph, Gilda Radner, Tiffany Haddish, Mindy Kaling, Kristin Wiig, Wanda Sykes…to name a few.

What will women’s history be like for our children?

I wasn’t necessarily looking for a way to celebrate International Women’s Day, but I was scrolling through Facebook and something caught my eye. Rebel Girls Fest: Adventure Awaits, a free virtual event led by inspiring Rebel Girls—you can watch it with your kids at the link! I have found late into the pandemic that registering for online events does my soul a whole lotta good. I had just attended our own Kansas City Mom Collective Moms Morning In: Self-Care Strategies for your Heart + Mind the weekend prior. Why hadn’t I been signing up for virtual events all along?? Honestly, my mental health and relationships have improved by participating, and I’m definitely taking this forward even post-pandemic.

The Rebel Girls event was really special because it was something I could do with my daughter, to inspire and empower her. Yes, I could do it with all the kids and I let everyone know about it regardless of gender. I frequently talk to the boys about issues women face, so they can be part of the shift we need. My daughter was the only family RSVP, but she was so excited, one was all I needed!

The event began with an art and writing activity about the power of our names. My daughter and I wrote our names and what they mean to us. I am Lizzie. My name makes me feel quirky, independent, relatable. I watched my daughter write down words including “special” and “confident.” Then, we heard from surfer and big wave record-breaker, Maya Gabeira who got us up and moving, balancing on two pillows to practice our surf moves. Albeit we are so landlocked, it was nice to practice with such a remarkable athlete.

Here was the most meaningful part for my child—inventor and scientist Ann Makosinski. As the B-roll of her flooded the screen, I saw my daughter’s eyes light up. “She plays with insects and spiders, too!” My daughter has never had a heebie jeebie in her life when it comes to creepy crawlies! I’ve never told her not to and it’s natural to her. I loved seeing her identify with a scientist; if you can see her, you can be her. We did a science experiment along with Ann using readily found household items and she was way into it—go STEAM. We heard an important message from Melinda Gates, we did a dance with sister crew Let it Happen, and we listened to the Rebel Girls podcast about Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

Our morning was both fulfilling and free! Rebel Girls has an upcoming Black Girl Magic event was also mentioned in conjunction with an upcoming book, although the event is not on their website quite yet. I’ll be on the lookout for this and other opportunities to rejoice in everything being female is and work against the injustices of what some claim we’re not. I’m happy it’s all around us, I’m happy women are powerful and refuse to be silenced or cast aside, I’m happy we are reshaping women’s history for future generations.

My daughter left the event feeling capable and full of happiness. I looked at her and said, “We can be grateful and appreciative of all the women who blazed the trails, and all the women around us showing us what is possible. But never be thankful for equal footing for which you are ENTITLED. This is our right regardless of gender—to have our desires, goals, and dreams realized.”

“Women don’t need to find their voice. They have a voice. They need to feel empowered to use it and people need to be encouraged to listen.” Meghan Markle

 

Hi, I’m Lizzie and you could say…I’m a little wild at heart. I’ve tried on a lot of different jobs, a lot of different towns-but now I’m home. I absolutely love KC. I have my own business, Lizzie Scribbles LLC, where I offer a complete range of writing, editing, and virtual assistance services. My partner, Greg, and I live in North Kansas City with our 3 children – Grayson (10), Kase (9) and Adria (8). We love music, cars, and family date nights.