We are all daughters.
Some of us are sisters, mothers, wives, girlfriends, best friends and lovers.
We are powerful in and of ourselves. We bear life.
We sustain relationships, families, nations, empires.
I want to say thank you to each and every one of you, my sisters, my fearless warriors. In spite of so many pains, you get up, dust yourself off, and move forward. You uphold and nurture. You believe in the Goodness of Humanity. You believe firmly in tomorrow even when it is more an act of faith than an expected outcome.
Real Women see beyond mere appearance. Real Women love generously. Real Women offer the gift of tender, tough, unbreakable loyalty. Real Women are fraught with struggles. Real women are in a certain way mothers too because they are aware of your intrinsic value as a person. Real women are nurturing to everyone who is around them.
Mothers add to all those qualities a selflessness beyond what can be perceived at first glance. Often, sons and daughters will only be fully aware of this fact when they, in turn, become parents. Many of the sacrifices they make for the progress and well being of their ‘tribe’ are neither seen nor acknowledged. It may be as little as eating the hard bit of bread left over from yesterday’s supper or as much as not applying for a job because it would mean too many hours away from your family. In fact, you might even be berated for it. Our aspiration is always to do things better.
We call our first language our ‘mother tongue’, we call our native country our ‘motherland’. The essence of women and our bond to everything human are the qualities that bestow depth and growth upon our world, both upon people and cultures. Perhaps that is why ‘smaller’ cultures are not respected and the traditions of our ancestors, however important or valuable, are vilified because they speak to us of roots and home and sacrifice, which are seen as superfluous or anecdotal in modern times.
I, for one, can truly say that most of the lessons I have learned in this life have been taught to me by remarkable women of all ages and conditions. They have held out their hand and told me their Truth. They have let me know that I am not alone. Sometimes, that is all I’ve needed.
So now, I wish to remind you that you are not unseen or unheard, that nearby, perhaps next door, there is a woman who is going through the same things as you. You are strong and capable. Learn to see the marvels in you as easily as you see the marvels in others.
May you all be happy and radiant, as well you should. Reach out to each other. Pass on the knowledge that we are strong. Our joy is a gift to be treasured. Our pain is a treasure to be valued. Although many may see our smile, our laughter and our tears belong only to ourselves and to those who we carry in our hearts.
“The import is not the kind of work woman does, but rather the quality of the work she furnishes… Her development, her freedom, her independence, must come from and through herself. First, by asserting herself as a personality, and not as a sex commodity. Second, by refusing the right to anyone over her body; by refusing to bear children, unless she wants them; by refusing to be a servant to God, the State, society, the husband, the family, etc., by making her life simpler, but deeper and richer. That is, by trying to learn the meaning and substance of life in all its complexities, by freeing herself from the fear of public opinion and public condemnation. Only that, and not the ballot, will set woman free, will make her a force hitherto unknown in the world, a force for real love, for peace, for harmony; a force of divine fire, of life-giving; a creator of free men and women.
from ‘Woman Suffrage’- 1910
Emma Goldman, ‘Anarchism and Other Essays’
I dedicate this to my two Mothers, the one who is no longer with me and the one whom I say good bye to a little each day.