This day is permanently associated with the most beautiful spring celebration in my memories. It always was and still is widely celebrated in Latvia, Europe. Unfortunately, we inherited this great day from the former Soviet Union; it was a part of socialist understanding of praising women’s role and importance in the society. Well, it was supposed to be like that, but March 8 got transformed into a really festive day when every single woman was feeling happy, admired, appreciated and loved.
It’s hard to say what I understood with March 8 as a kid, but I certainly was happy to receive beautiful spring flowers on this day every year in my life until I moved to Canada. What’s celebrated here? Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, and we have begun hearing about the International Women’s Day, as well, but as a part of movement for women’s equality and as a part of feminists’ attempts to get society to understand how strong and valuable women are. Valentine’s Day never took off in Latvia, not to the extent it is celebrated in Canada, and Mother’s Day is a very personal day, so, yes, I am still for March 8, the most beautiful and democratic celebration of every single woman, whether married or not, whether with kids or not, whether famous, or not. Every woman who feels like a woman and is happy about that.
This day, March 8 never carried this feminist meaning for me. I’ve always been very happy as a woman because I am a woman, and would say this is thanks to the type of family I could grow up. My dad was an extremely handsome man, and my mom still is an extremely feminine woman who always paid a lot of attention to housekeeping, the way she looks, the way she dresses, the way she interacts with other people, although, she had to work hard and long hours. I could see that a real woman does not have to be like a man to show her strength and ability to perform complex and sometimes difficult tasks. A woman does not have to demonstrate she can survive well without support of a man and a husband.
I believe the happiest women have always experienced lots of respect, lots of admiration, lots of understanding. I know that I have. Women can be strong, and there’s nothing actually they cannot manage. However, if you would like to be respected and celebrated as a woman, you have to allow the society and other people to respect and understand you. If you push away a man who’s holding the door open, if you kick out of your way somebody who’s trying to give you a hand, that does not mean they think you are weak and couldn’t do it on your own. That means they want to show you their appreciation for a woman.
When I was 12, I got a fashion magazine which was published by Aenne Burda edition in Germany. I spoke also German at that age, and I had learned sewing, so this was my most favorite magazine, it was just extremely difficult to get, just like everything else from abroad. There was a picture on the back cover of this Burda fashion magazine: family at breakfast. It looked like spring. There were 2 neatly dressed kids, the man was ok, but nothing special, and there was this woman. She was slim, seemed to be quite tall with long blonde hair and oval, very attractive face. She looked adorable! I absorbed this look, and I told to myself: when I get old and older I want to look just like her! Well, and I sort of always was since I had never any weight problems, my natural hair was always blonde, and later I kept it that color. However, the most important message was under the picture. It read: WE WOULD LOVE THAT EVERY WOMAN EXPERIENCES HOW BEAUTIFUL AND ADORABLE SHE IS. I certainly remembered these words, too.
I have had fantastic moments and extremely bad moments in my life since, but whenever I was walking down the street or whenever I was at some kind of event or party, and I got those looks which said: oh, you look so nice, I always cited these words in my head: WE WOULD LOVE THAT EVERY WOMAN EXPERIENCES HOW BEAUTIFUL AND ADORABLE SHE IS.
However, wearing a nice dress and high heels, as well as, being able to show off feminine body forms does not make woman a woman. There is so much more, a complete feminine universe, a brave way of thinking, a unique ability to handle and manage things and people. Every woman is different, and it is good that way, however, they all should feel appreciated and respected for what they do and what they are.
Thankfully, life gave me plenty of chances to experience how appreciated I am as a woman. I wish you the same and more and I am sending you hugs and flowers on March 8!