By Rachel Garvey
The inspiration for the title did indeed come from Little Mix’s ‘Woman Like Me’, a song that hit the charts in October 2018 and a song I have been listening to repeatedly because of the recent worldwide celebration of International Women’s Day, which took place on Sunday 8th March 2020. Ah yes, the day where women celebrate on a global scale for the elimination of female discrimination and access to their full rights; it is indeed a day of remembrance.
It’s hard to imagine that back in the old days, women were treated so differently; being expected to work only certain household jobs in the home or in clothes factories with giant machines that would end up damaging their limbs. I’m proud to be alive in this generation, a generation where women have rights, a voice, an actual place in society among the men. On a brief side note, I just want to appreciate the women that I have in my life who have been an inspiration to me; my Mum, my Nan who passed away in May 2019, my younger sister, my best friend Mary and of course the women I work with. Each and every one of them inspires me in different ways; ways which work hand in hand with one another, those different sparks of inspiration are all happily engaged with a big fat diamond ring. I’d even like to pay a small tribute to Caroline Flack, as I’m constantly revisiting her phrase of “Be Kind”, two small words that have a big meaning.
Previous to International Women’s Day, we had Valentine’s Day, a day that is supposed to be filled with love and couples going on romantic dinner dates, but for some, myself included, it was the exact opposite. I remember buying myself a bouquet of roses and I placed them in a crystal vase on my kitchen table, a kind gesture to remind myself that I didn’t need someone to love me, I was the one who needed to love me. Fast forward to the next day of February 14th, my Mum and younger sister were visiting me and asked “Oh, who got you the roses? Your boyfriend?”. My reply was simple and real: “I bought them for myself” with a content smile on my face. However, the day before International Women’s Day, my boss had come up to me in work, offered me a flower from a bouquet and wished me a Happy International Women’s Day. It was a gesture I will never forget, a gesture that women don’t forget, as it makes them feel appreciated and supported for the day that’s in it. We live in a generation where women still expect flowers on those special occasions from their partners, but there’s no need for that. Don’t rely on the men to give you what you want; no offence gentlemen, you’re great and all that, but women need to keep up the standards of equality because we worked so hard for those rights and we should never sweep that under the rug.
We live in a world where women work on construction sites, drives buses, run for President and many more so we shouldn’t underestimate what we are capable of. We don’t need people to tell us that we are beautiful because we can do that ourselves. We don’t need men giving off to us for being bad drivers; that’s just us being careful of the road and other drivers. We control what we do, no-one else has a say, no-one else has a right to invade our rights. Being a woman is hard, it is the hardest job we do every day, but that’s what makes us stronger. I remember my Nan used to make the best cup of tea; 2 sugars with 90% hot water and 10% milk, the combination was unbeatable. When she passed away, I took over that task, I simply learned from the best and as much as it’s appreciated when someone makes tea for me, I’d rather make it myself, not just because I’m good at making it, but because I am well capable of making it myself.