This is the day where we celebrate women all around the world. Today so much has been said and left unsaid for the cause of gender equality and empowering women. Whenever I hold a conversation with someone and I speak on my beliefs, I sadly have to explain what I mean when I am a feminist. And why is that?

Because so many people associate the word negatively. A majority women in the world believe being a feminist means you are a man hater and that men need to be beat to the ground, broken, and “put in their place.”

These women feel that the only way for there to be any change is for men to get a taste of their own medicine. That is it the only way for them to learn. What kind backwards thinking is that? When has “fighting fire with fire” gotten us anywhere?

Most of society assume that when you mention you are a feminist, you mean you are a man hater. And worse, a lot of women believe that is what it is to be a feminist. And then we wonder why men don’t like/trust the word.

As well as why so many of them claim they are not and can never be feminist because they are not women. They believe it is a cause just for women who hate men, an idea that both genders believe. But this is where both genders are wrong.

When I mention I am a feminist, I clarify that feminism is gender equality and that is what I stand for. Not man hating. And, wait for it, men can be feminist too. Shocker, huh? Well, you read it right.

A man can be a feminist just as much as a woman can and they both will stand for the same thing: gender equality. This means that the opposite sex is treated the same and never regarded as less or more than the other.

So how can we fix this? Easy. We raise our sons and daughters to be better. Better than the past and better than us. Men forget they come from women. Women forget the raise children. What better time than now to start a revolution? One that will benefit all of us.

When Robert and I had discussed having children, we agreed to raise our children as feminist. Even before learning we were pregnant, we held this belief.

If we have a girl, she will know she is no better and no less than a man. If we have a boy, he will know he is no better and no less than a girl. They will respect the opposite sex the same way they will respect themselves. And that is what is important. This is where change will begin.

We start with the next generation and we teach them for the better. We teach them how to have a future that will grow and evolve into something beautiful and rewarding. We will raise daughters and sons who will become compassionate mothers and fathers, who will in turn show the love and respect they have toward each other and for themselves.

So, let’s make this more than just a day for women. Let’s take take far beyond that and turn it into a social norm for gender equality.

Despite sexual orientation, the traditions your family follows, what your culture or community says, what the media portrays, and whatever other obstacles you will face.

Because, of course, it won’t be easy. Nothing ever is. But that’s where you make the difference. Because you can and because you will.

Happy International Women’s Day.

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