The first International Women’s Day took place in 1911, drawing more than 1 million people to rallies worldwide. Decades later, the United Nations General Assembly officially marked March 8 as International Women’s Day in 1975. Here in the US, President Jimmy Carter issued the first Presidential Proclamation in 1980 declaring the week of March 8th as National Women’s History Week. The weekly observance continued until 1987 when Congress designated March as Women’s History Month. History lesson out of the way, the hallowed 31 days of celebrating divine femininity is upon us. And with that, I thought it only fitting that today’s topic be dedicated to all things woman, instead of any dating undertones my blogs typically have. From acts of self love this IWD to the gifts that keep on giving for the ladies in your life. Ways you can help female focused charities and support woman run businesses, along with a little sprinkle of some necessary facts for the fella’s. Grab a glass of wine ( or juice if you prefer ) and lets dive in…
Listen to Learn
For 2023, the theme of the month is “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories”. Honoring women in every community who have devoted their lives and talents to pursuing truth by producing art, and reflecting the minds of many. One of the best ways we absorb any type of storytelling today is through listened media, so below are a few suggestions for Pods/Ted Talks led by some badass knowledgable babes…
Encyclopaedia Womannica – If you’re after a short yet inspiring hit of female history, look no further than the ‘Encyclopaedia Womannica’. Hosted by Jenny Kaplan, 5 days a week it offers an informative biography under 10 mins of a woman from history who’s story you may have not known, but probably really should.
Our Body Politic – Award-winning journalist Farai Chideya’s illuminating podcast digs deep into the biggest political, economic, and social stories of the moment and expands on them through the perspectives of women of color.
The Female Founders Network Podcast is a global, women-only entrepreneurial and leadership podcast. In each episode, hosts Nat Brown and Sylvie Hall interview an entrepreneur, small business owner, or industry leader helping them share their story and offer tips and tricks for listeners.
Second life – Deciding to change career paths? Host Hillary Kerr ( Co-founder of WhoWhatWear ) shines a light on women who’ve made the daring choice to switch careers at mid-life
Anne-Marie Slaughter exploded the conversation around women’s work-life balance with her 2012 article “Why women still can’t have it all.” The title of the Ted ” Can we all have it all ? “, Slaughter expands her ideas and explains why shifts in work culture, public policy and social mores can lead to more equality — for men, women, all of us.
Why we have too few women leaders – Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg looks at why a smaller percentage of women than men reach the top of their professions – and offers 3 powerful pieces of advice to women aiming for the C-suite.
Award-winning author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie gave her TED Talk “We Should All Be Feminists” in 2012, later adapting the speech into a book of the same name. In her talk she shares the story of the first time she heard the word “feminist” and what it means for her.
” Unlock the intelligence, passion, greatness of girls ” – Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee’s powerful speech takes what she learned from leading a women’s movement that helped to end the Second Liberian Civil War. She talks about the importance of strength, passion and intelligence in young girls, and poses the poignant question : Can we transform the world by unlocking the greatness of girls ?
Support the Sisters
TheWMarketplace ( https://thewmarketplace.com ) is an ecommerce marketplace owned by women entrepreneurs, for women entrepreneurs. Founded by Kate Isler and Susan Gates, their mission is to close the economic gender gap by empowering women entrepreneurs to grow and thrive. When you join The WMarketplace, you become part of a supportive ecosystem of other women-owned businesses and have a national, direct-to-consumer sales channel created to support your growth. They offer you the tools, knowledge, and support you need to help your business grow and thrive. But also provide a destination for consumers to shop their values ! Shop female owned/made here this International Women’s day at https://thewmarketplace.com/collections/international-womens-day-gift-ideas
A personal favorite of us here at FROME, Drink Bev was founded and is still lead by the incredible Alix Peabody. Who by starting the delicious canned wine brand hoped to disrupt the male-dominated alcohol industry and create a space where women can feel like drinking is a fun, inclusive, and safe experience. With their slogan aptly being” Made by Chicks ” they also foster a community of entrepreneurs, creatives, & freelancers empowering women across many industries – in business and beyond. https://drinkbev.com
Girlfriend Collective is a female-founded athleisure wear company with a focus on sustainability. It uses ethical manufacturing and recycled materials to make its products, their clothes being made from things like post-consumer water bottles, fishing nets retrieved from the seas, fabric scraps and other waste. They believe in being transparent, taking care of the people who are making the clothes and never put the bottom line before what’s best for the planet https://girlfriend.com
Founded by sisters Taran and Bunny Ghatrora, Blume https://www.blume.com seeks to destigmatize acne, puberty, periods and sex ed while offering skin, body, and period care based products. From their website – “ 60% of women can pinpoint that their self-esteem plummeted when they went through puberty. Our mission is to change that. We’re building the next generation a safe space to learn, grow and become their best naturally brave selves.” Another beautiful thing about the ladies at Blume ? Everything they do is with and for their community. A portion of proceeds from each sale goes to @daysforgirls- an organization that turns periods into pathways for girls around the world through proper education + access to safe resources.
McBride Sisters Wine Company – In 2005, the sisters found themselves fueled by a shared passion for all things wine, wine-making and a desire to shake up the industry with a blend of old-world elegance and new-world finesse. It was then that the McBride Sisters Collection was born. Winemaking sisters Andréa and Robin McBride produce premium wines in New Zealand and California and lead the largest African American winery in the United States. https://www.mcbridesisters.com
How we can help
March 8th is the day we dedicate to celebrating the achievements of women. It’s also incredibly important that we take this day to raise awareness, to engage in philanthropy on any level and set our sights on helping further the education and inspiration of our communities. So below are some of my favourite female based charities that are in need of your help this IWD :
https://downtownwomenscenter.org – The Downtown Women’s Center (DWC) envisions a Los Angeles with every woman housed and on a path to personal stability. Here you are able to donate your time, money and/or a plethora of different items on their wish list that’s needed to help this beautiful organization continue to run smoothly. It’s mission is to end homelessness for women in greater Los Angeles through housing, wellness, employment, and advocacy.
Dress for Success https://dressforsuccess.org is a global not-for-profit organization that empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. Since starting operations in 1997, Dress for Success has expanded to 143 cities in 23 countries and has helped more than 1.3 million women work towards self-sufficiency. Discover how you can donate clothes, support the organization financially, get involved as a volunteer or help in other ways at the link above.
Nomi Network https://nominetwork.org is part of the global effort to end human trafficking in our lifetime. ” In our work, we see that poverty and economic marginalization are primary drivers that make women and girls vulnerable to exploitation. By creating pathways to safe employment and economic stability, we prevent trafficking and empower women to rewrite the narratives for future generations.”
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes Event – There is an old saying that goes “You can’t understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.” Well, since 2001 to get people listening, learning, and talking, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® education events have been organised around men literally walking one mile in women’s high-heeled shoes. A space of playful confrontation and openness, this experience is fun for all ages and rich in education and self-reflection https://www.walkamileinhershoes.org
Girls Who Code https://girlswhocode.com – is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology and computer science. Their mission is to inspire more girls to become computer scientists and engineers.
YWCA https://www.ywca.org is one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations in the nation, having served over 2 million women, girls, and their families. They have been at the forefront of the most pressing social movements for more than 160 years — from voting rights to civil rights, from affordable housing to pay equity, from violence prevention to health care reform. And on a constant mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families and strengthen communities.
The gifts that keep on giving
Nevertheless She Persisted Puzzle – The mighty Malala Yousafazi said, “One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.” Put together this beautifully illustrated 1,000-piece design to see a powerful collage of 24 of history’s most empowering, game-changing women. A fun and inspiring reminder of how far we’ve come and how far we have to go.
The beautiful humans at Packed with Purpose put together the perfect snack set this IWD, aptly named ” A Taste of Women’s History Month “. This gift of goodies ranges from wholesome to decadent bites, all from enterprises that are women-owned, support fair wages, or empower women globally. A little sweet, a little salty, yet bold through and through just like every good woman in your life
Rykä Euphoria Running Shoe – From Forbes – ” Ryka prides itself on being the first brand to create athletic sneakers with the female foot in mind. Not only are Ryka shoes made by women, for women—the brand’s founder, Sheri Poe, saw a gap in the market while using fitness as part of her healing journey after surviving a sexual assault—but the shoes are designed specifically for the unique shape, muscle movement and build of the female foot.
Stone and Strand describes its Good Girl collection as a “physical embodiment of what’s important to us: The empowerment of women, always.” $15 from each 18kt gold-plated cigar band sold is donated to Justice for Migrant Women—a nonprofit that uses education, public awareness and advocacy to ensure civil and human rights for migrant women
These carefully crafted care packages on Etsy are a perfect purchased for a self care moment, or a lovely gift for the lady in your life
Some Female Facts for the Fellas
I feel even the most empathetic and mature of the men we know still have moments where something to do with the female brain/body dumbfounds them. We are stereotypically labeled “crazy” and “overly emotional ” for a variety of reasons, but in reality I feel it’s just through a complete lack of education/false information. So fella’s, this is for you. Below, I’ve compiled some key points that I hope will help in closing the gap of understanding.
Hormones – My mother literally calls them ” the moans of whore ” because of how vicious and unpredictable they can be. Even though yes, you men do experience hormonal imbalances and fluctuations, they will never be able to compete with the unreasonable amount of high’s and low’s women go through every damn month. Familiarising yourself with the workings of your women’s hormones is important because they not only affect behaviour ( no two experiences being the same ), they also play a significant part in a women’s overall physical and mental health. In addition to the stereotypical snappy attitude, the symptoms we endure can range from radically low energy, brain fog, weight gain and low libido to severe insomnia, migraines and serious intestinal distress. So if one day we seem fine and the next day a bit luny, I suggest having a touch more sympathy for the rollercoaster of hormones we are battling as we do our day to day. And that leads me to my next point…
Period. – Yes, I said period. You see, I’ve had partners who’ve had absolutely no problem with periods, actually some who were excited to learn. But just as I have, I know we’ve all met our fair share of men who get disgusted by the word itself, let alone the notion of it all or god forbid.. seeing a stray tampon in the trash can. Instead of giving the typical smart ass, admonishing lecture I feel many women rightfully lay down, in this lil’ segment I thought I’d give a scientific based week to week breakdown of how our hormones affect us. In hopes to break ( or at least crack ) some long-held beliefs about periods men may have…
Week 1 – The bleeding begins. Contrary to popular belief, the moment we start to bleed we don’t morph into a raging lunatics with no control over our emotions. May I ask you this ? Can you imagine bleeding out the tip of your dick for 5 days every month and being a happy camper through-out the process ? No ? Okay so if there is some sharpness to our tone, or slight bitterness in our actions it’s from the whole “uncontrollably bleeding from an orifice that feels it shouldn’t “, the moans of whore mentioned above and the painful menstrual cramps ( think being kicked in the balls over and over ) that would make anyone a little cranky and on edge.
Week 2 – Jubilant from the lack of bleeding, this week to many woman is le golden week. To men, the rise in libido and happy energy are the major change you’ll notice. And don’t get me wrong, it’s a damn good side effect. The biological reason however is that our estrogen is on an upward trajectory until it peaks, supported by a nice little dose of testosterone. Resulting in high and happy hormones that allow us to be a hornier, chattier, more confident version of ourselves.
Week 3 – Beginning and End – of ovulating that is… Because of a sharp drop in estrogen and rise in progesterone ( a hormone that prepares the endometrium (lining of our uterus) for a fertilized egg to implant and grow ) our mood shifts rapidly lower, most of us sullen and lacking energy. The distance between hungry and hangry is minuscule, our cravings more geared towards high-calorie foods as our bodies prepare for what could be pregnancy and we’re are strangely more concerned about safety than any other week of the month. Oh and that recently enjoyed raging libido ? Dry as a fucking desert. Though if in a relationship, that’s the week we tend to be more emotionally connective with our partners. A week laden with cuddle and kisses along with random, ridiculous questions like ” would you love still love me if I were a bug ? ”
Week 4 – Things really take a turn here as our estrogen pluments, dragging down any and all feel-good brain chemicals. This is the week I feel a lot of men subconsciously associate with periods as its rife with irritability, moodiness and anxiety. The period blues if you will… While we need your kindness everyday of the month, this week is where we need you to lay it on thick. Our boobs are sore, our uterus’s getting ready to erupt and just everything we do feels harder and more annoying. So please, handle us with care. And just like that, the cycle repeats itself. Every. Single. Month.
The Clit – How could I do this segment without mentioning the mythical clitoris ? The word clitoris supposedly comes from the Greek word for key, indicating that the ancient anatomists considered it the key to a woman’s sexuality. As far back as we can remember, we’ve known it’s a button that should be pressed. So please, pay attention to it. I feel I can confidently speak on behalf of all womankind in saying that while penetrative sex is delicious, the clitoris wins the award for being the single biggest source of sexual pleasure for us. In fact, few women can regularly and easily have orgasm from penetrative sex alone. It feels good, yes but you see…while the penis is generally considered to have about 4,000 sensory nerve endings, the clitoris has about 8,000 nerve endings. All contained to roughly the size of a pea. So fella’s, it’s an area I heavily encourage you to explore, completely familiarise yourself with and learn to respect as a vital part of love making.
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare.” – Audre Lord… Self care isn’t selfish. It’s necessary for everyone to truly take the time to take care of themselves. On March 8th, I urge you to do something, actually multiple things that make you happy, genuinely fulfil you and leave your self love cup filled to the brim.
Dear Me, From Me – “Dear Self ” letters are the best way to connect with who you once were, who you are now and who you will be. I suggest taking the time this month to jot down anything from what you want to remember and to what you don’t, how you’re feeling right now and how you want to feel in the future. Write about your favourite things, lessons learnt, dreams and aspirations for the future. This is beautiful act of self love, one that is incredibly cathartic.
Give yourself a digital detox – Just like your body needs a physical detox from shitty food or partying too much, so does the mind from all things social media once in a while. We all know how damaging the constant comparisons can be… So please, even if its just an hour, put your phone down and relish in the present. Read a book, paint an adult paint by numbers ( a personal favourite ), engage in a hobby or simply go for a walk in the fresh air with one of the suggested pod’s above. Just detach yourself from the mini computer in your hands for a moment and feel how much more free your mind can be.
Take yourself ( and/or your favorite females ) out on a date – We tend to cherish each other on the daily as woman ( at least myself and my friends do ), but March 8th is the day to organise a night filled with an abundance of love. There is nothing more empowering than a group of women who support and take care of each other, so use this night to express your gratitude and soak in the glorious female energy.
Dance it out – Have a solo dance party, I dare you. I know it sounds kinda silly, but this is something I actually indulge in on a regular basis and find it free’s my mind and allows me to connect with my body in a way little other does. Whether its head banging to screamo, sultry strip club moves or flailing your arms and legs around like a lunatic, just allow yourself to be carefree and fluid for a few moments of the day.
I want to leave you today with some of my more favoured quotes from woman, about woman. So that not only today, not only this month, but every damn day of the year we can be reminded of how beautifully complex and important woman truly are. Until next time x
“Feminism isn’t about making women strong. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.” —G.D. Anderson
”Teach your daughters to worry less about fitting into glass slippers and more about shattering glass ceilings.”- Melissa Marchonna
“Be messy and complicated and afraid and show up anyways.” – Glennon Doyle Melton
“Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. … It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.” – Oprah Winfrey
”Your beauty deserves to be seen and known, most especially by you. You are worthy of being the subject of your own art. It is okay to capture the process of your own becoming. To be your own kind and gentle and fierce witness. To learn the truth of your eyes and your skin and your bones. To choose to show what wants to be shown, to name what wishes to be named, to claim ownership of the story that is told about you by being the one to tell it … Look at yourself now, miracle that you are, look at yourself and soak in the wonder until you no longer want to look away.” – Jeanette LeBlanc
HJG for First Rounds On Me