March is Women History Month. This month we are reminded of all the LGBTQ+ women who have paved the way for equality and justice not just in our community, but for people around the world. A piece of this celebration is today, March 8th, which is International Women’s Day. Today, OUTMemphis would like to honor the women who have put in an amazing amount of work to keep OUTMemphis running and thriving. The theme of International Women’s Day this year is #ChoosetoChallenge, so we asked the women of OUT what this day and this theme means to them, and here’s what they had to say.
“This International Women’s Day, I challenge myself and my community to celebrate and protect the femme in all of us.I challenge us to honor womanhood in all its moments, expressions, performances, and all of its beauty. I challenge us to constantly expand and redefine what it means to be a woman, a girl, a person. To challenge us all to love ourselves and the entire kaleidoscope of intersectionality and gender curiosity that we hold.”
“The 2021 International Women’s Day campaign theme is #ChooseToChallenge. This year I choose to challenge the unrealistic expectations and standards put on women by our racist, cishet-centered, patriarchal society. I am so proud to be a woman and to live and work alongside many strong, badass women. We are constantly pushed to work harder, do more, and be better. Sometimes we can meet those expectations or surpass them, but sometimes we can’t. To all the women out there doing your best, pushing past your limits, trying your hardest, I see you and I support you. Don’t let anyone make you feel like what you can and do give isn’t enough. Last year taught us so much about our resilience. This year, learn from those lessons and be kind to yourself. You’re doing great. And to be clear, I’m talking about any and all women-identified people. Cis, trans, nonbinary, etc., your identity is valid and you are included in my team, today and every day.”
“International Women’s Day allows women’s voices to be united around the globe & creates a sense of empowerment.As an African American woman, International Women’s Day presents an opportunity to talk about the poor health care, the disparity of pay for women of color, & continued brutality my community faces in the United States. This presents the opportunity to encourage women of color to use their voice & go against the stigma of “it’s” not ok to be the Angry Black Woman.”
“On this International Day of the Woman, I choose to challenge any and all systems that would place women in positions that don’t acknowledge, honor, and support the full range of womanhood. Disparities in pay, transphobia, unequal distributions of labor – both paid and unpaid, patriarchy and lack of fair access to reproductive justice are just some of the systems that stifle the free and full development of women’s potential across the world. Today – and all year – I choose to call out these systems when I see them – both in myself and in the world around me, and support and uplift voices of other women calling for the eradication of these limitations on what women can achieve.”
“On this International Women’s Day, I #choosetochallenge the limitations imposed on the full spectrum of the expression of womanhood by the imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy.Today and every day, I celebrate all my woman-identifying sisters out there working towards dismantling the systems of oppression that profit from our labor and our self-doubt. Your authentic self-expression, your sheer existence amid these systems is not only valid, it’s radical 💜”
“It’s a day of celebration for equal rights for all women.
It’s a day for celebrating all the changes that have been achieved so far and a call to action to continue breaking barriers down for generations to come until gender parity is attained. This protest has been going on for centuries and I hope it does not take more centuries to obtain the goals.”
Director of Finance and Operations