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I was not planning to be working today, and for that reason I am unable to take the day off as part of the ‘day without women’ strike; I am still not entirely sure that I would even if I had the option to, but as it is I didn’t have to make that decision.

I do know that I stand in solidarity with ALL women. To the women who are striking today, I applaud your conviction. To the women who decided they would rather show up at work, as teachers, academics, engineers, small business owners, journalists, CEO’s and doctors; and prove their worth by doing their jobs confidently and competently, I admire your integrity. To the women working long, unpaid hours as mothers and home makers, I marvel at your strength and patience.

Here are some of the choices I have made today to mark my respect for International Women’s day:

  1. I did not weigh myself. Wednesday is my weekly weigh in day and I am trying to lose weight for health reasons (nothing inherently anti-feminist in that, I have justified to myself.) However, I am only human, and sometimes my self worth and self esteem gets caught up in the numbers on the scale- whilst I work through this, I am giving myself a break this week, and focusing on the many more important aspects of myself.
  2. I am not going shopping. This is one of my only free days this week and usually I would take the opportunity to get an Uber to Del Amo mall and do a little spending. I am not for two reasons; firstly, the strike has encouraged people to speak with their wallets, and not give their service to large businesses and corporations. Many of these organizations are led by men, and can exploit female workers. The second reason is more personal; whilst shopping can be a relaxing and fun activity, we cannot ignore that the fashion and beauty industries have profited from women’s insecurities, and their desires to conform to unrealistic expectations.
  3. I am writing again, and having faith in my own abilities. I have hit some serious writers block recently, partly because I have been too busy to commit to my writing as much as I should, and partly because I have been second guessing my right to write. I have a novel idea which leans towards a particular political commentary, and I have struggled to justify that I have the knowledge or the experience to write from this point of view. Today I will allow myself the luxury of writing these thoughts down, and not worrying about anyone else reading them just yet.
  4. I will avoid unfair, and damaging representations of women in the media. These have been my ‘guilty pleasures’ in the past – not the representations themselves, but trashy magazines with features entitled ‘7 ways to seduce your man’, and ‘Lose 5 pounds this week’; also TV shows such as the real housewives and the bachelor. I have reasoned that I am able to ‘see through’ the less admirable aspects of these indulgences, and am not negatively affected by them. However, just because I can see through the BS and laugh it off, does not mean I should be contributing to the profits of companies that could damage the self esteem and mental health of younger, and more vulnerable women.
  5. I am taking the time to talk to, advise, and celebrate the women in my life. Since moving to Los Angeles, I have had to take better care of my relationships – tens of thousands of miles, an 8 hour time difference, and very different lifestyles, can put a strain on even the closest of friendships. I learn every single day from my female friends, and they inspire me in so many ways. I hope to remind them of that today.

So there you have it, my run down for a fairly low key and relaxing Women’s day, one filled with self care and reflection. (And probably ice cream.) I also doubt much housework will be done today, it is my day too after all!

Many thanks for reading,

Anna x