Sunday, March 08, 2009

International Womens Day - Guest Post

*Nola's note: This is a beautiful tribute to women that my friend in Jerusalem, Steve Amsel, wrote a while back, and posts on his blog each International Women's Day. Steve is a special guy, and that is evidenced by this moving celebration of the special women in his life, and of women in general. Enjoy.


A painting by Charles White that always inspired me, it shows the strength and love of a woman.

I post this every International Womens Day…..

First, a question… why is there a special day designated for women? For centuries women took a ‘back seat’ in all social and political issues, forbidden to work, vote, and receive an education…. Yet they fought these injustices and won. Doing so, they proved that they are truly equal.. in fact in many cases superior to men.

Women are special! The first person to kiss us at our birth was a woman. The person that carried us for nine months with much discomfort and pain was a woman. For this woman, there is yet another special day set aside; Mother’s Day.

As a political activist, it was mostly women that inspired me to become what I am today… to name just a few there was…

My Mother Esther—a Saint in her own right

Freda Gardner—a family friend, left wing activist

Ann Yellin —–a family friend, trade union activist

Helen Keller - ’handicapped’ person that wouldn’t accept limitations

Elizabeth Gurley Flynn - communist leader, Joe Hill’s ‘Rebel Girl’

Rosa Parks - civil rights activist

My Aunt Sarah——who taught me that every human being has his worth.

There are more, many more… but the point remains that it was and is women that are the molders of what we are today. It is women that continued to make our world a better place despite every attempt to ‘keep them in their place’. They have proven that their place is where they want it to be… in politics, in the workplace, in the home and in the community. The same Neanderthal mentality that tried to keep them down is the same mentality that has tried to keep minorities down all over the world. This type of thinking cannot and will not be tolerated.

It used to be said that ‘behind every great man there stands a woman’… this is so not the case. In reality it should say ‘wherever there is a great man, there is a woman just as great or greater’.

Let us all salute the women in our life, past and present… not only on International Women’s Day… but everyday. Let us never forget their greatness, their love and the patience they have shown to the injustices that they were forced to put up with. Let us celebrate their day every day… without them we wouldn’t be here!

Helen Keller

Rosa Parks

Elizabeth Gurley Flynn

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