I sat in a room full of women who were celebrating women. I had never experienced such warmth and sisterhood in my entire life. I kept thinking what a great time to be a woman, a woman in business no less. I had been craving support from the outside world for a very long time. In that room I felt it. It was not about money or success but, the fact that I was in a room with people like me who have struggled like me, who have walked a path just like mine and who are succeeding was humbling.
I started reevaluating the feminism movement. Just maybe if I can help a girl achieve her dreams and in turn pull her out from a life that she is deemed as a second hand human I would have made a difference. Just because I have never faced the challenges everyone is talking about does not mean someone like me is not. I began to realize I was privileged and that is not how the story should go. We should not have women who are privileged due to the society they were born. Basic equality for BOTH men AND women is a right not a privilege.
I sat in this grand room listening to women who are making a great impact in their communities. I sat there listening to their testimonies and realized I have been idolizing the wrong kind of woman. The Instagram woman, the social media woman, the ones with many likes per photo woman, the one who travels and eats at fancy restaurants woman are not the kind of woman for me. I am not saying there is anything wrong with such women. I accept and respect that digital media is a craft and a now widely acceptable career path. For a very long time I had wanted to be THAT kind of woman. If I talked about it enough then people would eventually know my cause. I had wanted to fit in that world but, I was not created for that.
I looked around the room and saw my role models. Women who want to help empower their community because they saw a need that they could fulfill. One particular speaker was Kansiime from Uganda. She said something very profound. She said we are benefiting from someone else’s idea. When you are 80 and all you can do is enjoy your grandchildren what would the rest of the world be benefiting from you?
I left the training feeling like I finally met the woman I wanted to be. Not once did they put men down or raise their agenda above men. Not once did I hear someone use their gender as an excuse or point of motivation or as a reason to get hand-me-downs from men. They simply work because they believe it is a cause worth working for. That’s my kind of woman.