“Any woman who chooses to behave like a full human being should be warned that the armies of the status quo will treat her as something of a dirty joke. That’s their natural and first weapon. She will need her sisterhood.” ~ Gloria Steinem
Today is International Women’s Day, so a word especially about sisterhood. I intuited at an early age how important other women, girls, were to me in life, but when I ended up at a women’s college I learned to actually say “sisterhood is powerful”. We need one another. And yes, like blood sisters, we may fight, disagree on things, be rivals for things, but when my back is against it, there’s no one I know has my back like my sisters–my blood sister and the sisters I’ve added through love.
But we’re all sisters if we allow it. Often when I’m in advice mode with students or much younger friends, I call them Little Sister to underscore the tie (to be fair, I call men Little Brother, as well). I had a colleague once who did this, and I thought it made her advice much more potent as it obviously came from a place of Love.
I’m glad I found this Steinem quote–she was such an guiding light during my girlhood–I grew up during the 60s and 70s, raised by a feminist mother, who herself was the daughter of a feminist mother. But back then people like my mother were in the minority, and somewhat “odd,” so Steinem was a visible, public affirmation of possibilities.
So on this day I want to send a wish for dignity and equality to all my sisters. Around the world too many women are mistreated solely due to their gender. I wish them a voice, a choice and a safe place in the world.