My mother walked into my elementary school wearing white shorts with her leopard bikini underneath. You could see it peeking through.
She was that mad. She didn’t care what she was wearing. She was on a mission.
More on that in a second.
Yesterday, I checked in with a friend.
She now lives in a new city and wants to join a club nearby. The rule is – you have to be sponsored to get in, and the husband in the household has to sign in order to sponsor a woman to join the club. That’s right, in 2017 this club requires her husband’s permission for her to join.
Instead of asking for her husband’s signature, this friend of mine is gathering signatures of her female friends who are members. These female friends have careers, raise children and are EQUAL partners in their households.
Sure, my friend could have chosen to walk away from the club and its archaic rule that she doesn’t like. Instead, she is trying to teach others in the community – men and women – that they should change the policy. By standing up for herself, she is teaching them to STAND UP for themselves. By being a strong woman, she is also teaching her daughter how to stand up for herself.
And that’s where my mom comes back in…
I was in sixth grade when my mom marched into the principal’s office at my elementary school. She was furious after I told her that I wasn’t going to be allowed to take a test for an accelerated level junior high math class.
The boys could take it – girls couldn’t.
We were living in Sandy, Utah at the time. And no, this wasn’t the 1950’s… it was 1988.
When my teacher explained to my mom that the test was designed only for college-bound students to be able to place into a higher math class, she was livid! Why wasn’t her daughter invited to take the test? I had the grades and the skills, just not the “right” gender. Unhappy with my teacher’s answers, she took her fight to my principal’s office.
What makes the story funny (because the fact that she had to fight for me at all is certainly not funny) is that my mom was so livid when I came home that day and told her what was happening… she jumped right off of her sunning chair in the backyard, threw on her shorts, grabbed me and walked me back into school. White shorts, leopard bikini and all.
She didn’t care. She was going to make things right.
My mother always stood up for her three daughters.
She taught us to do the same.
Her white shorts and leopard bikini were funny, but what makes the story memorable is that my mom let nothing deter her from standing up for me. This is what strong women do; strong women stand up for themselves.
I am surrounded by strong women.
We learn from each other, inspire and support each other.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Happy International Women’s Day.
I teach women how to be stronger, more confident and how to stand out in their field. Let me teach you how to stand up for yourself and get the media you deserve. Sign up here for my free media class I’ll be teaching in April.