Women’s Way

March 8, 2023

Today is International Women’s Day, as March 8th has been since 1911. Now, when it was first observed, women’s lots in life were quite different. “Mother” likely spent the day standing over a hot stove where a vat of porridge was bubbling, that she hoped was enough to feed her 17 children. Or she was scrubbing the family’s clothes with a washboard. If she worked outside the home, she had the grand choice of secretary, nurse, or school teacher. Her husband had full control of her finances. She couldn’t cast a ballot in an election. 

Well, here we are, 112 years later, and my goodness has life changed! Unlike the woefully under-appreciated gals of the early 20th century, we women are treated completely as men’s equals, with the exact same job opportunities and equal pay, and control over our own bodies, and we feel totally safe walking alone at night and…wait a minute. I guess we still have a ways to go, don’t we? And for our sisters of color, and women in some other cultures, the way forward is even longer and harder.

But today is a day to think about women, and to honor them and their many, many achievements and contributions to the life of the world. It offers a bigger umbrella than the limited “Mother’s Day,” and in recent decades it has morphed into, not just a celebration, but a call to action. There’s a theme each year; this year it’s "DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Digital Equality," always pointing to areas where we as a society can improve our treatment of females.

I’ve been pretty happy with my gender, even though I’ve always been aware of the drawbacks. As a little girl in a house of daughters, boys were alien territory—loud and rough and rude. Boys were the ones Sister Annunciata would usually berate, and boys didn’t cry about it. I, on the other hand, wept buckets if on the receiving end of even a raised eyebrow. Boys were a total mystery, until I had three of them.

I tried hard to raise them to be kind, and thoughtful. To treat women with respect. To recognize the advantages men still have—and to be advocates for those who lack those societal advantages. And I let them know that boys can, and should be allowed to, cry.

We are in a time when gender identity is much discussed; for many people, it is a fluid thing. There have ALWAYS been people trapped in the wrong bodies, let’s not kid ourselves. In the past, they struggled along in misery. Now, at last, they are starting to be recognized and appreciated for exactly who they are, and that’s a wonderful improvement. I pray we will keep pushing forward toward true acceptance and inclusion of all human beings.

So Happy IWD to my female identifying friends. Onward, together, to make the world a better place. Not just better than 1911, but better than 2023. We can do this.


    I am an author (of five books, numerous plays, poetry and freelance articles,) a retired director (of Spiritual Formation at a Lutheran church,) and a producer (of five kids).

    I write about my hectic, funny, perfectly imperfect life.

    Please visit my website: or email me at



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