I put on my red shirt this morning and headed to my office.
Too much work prevented me from participating in #ADayWithoutWomen. Even though I was fully supported by my bosses – a day off would have only resulted in me working evenings or on the weekend.
But there was this other thing below the surface. I felt superficial protesting.
What was I truly protesting against? I recognize intellectually that, as a woman, I am technically a minority. Yet – I have never personally felt marginalized. I grew up in a white upper class New Jersey suburb. I was fortunate enough to attend a top ranking private university fully paid for by my parents. I have worked in professional environments with strong female leaders. My male colleagues have always been collaborative and respectful. My current employer offers many opportunities for women. The right to do what I want with my body has been in place since before I was born.
Rather than protest, the red shirt served as a reminder to reflect today.
Each person, female or male, I saw wearing a red shirt today reminded me of the connection we all share. The red shirt allowed me to smile at an otherwise would be stranger and acknowledge – yes we are all in this together. No matter our gender, race, sexual orientation, etc.
The red shirt reminded me of the responsibility I have for my two young daughters. To help them feel empowered to do whatever they want and not hold back. To remind them that they are strong and capable.
The red shirt reminded me that there are minorities in this world that are marginalized. And even though I don’t personally feel impacted – I have a responsibility to advocate for those who don’t have a voice and not take my privilege for granted.
The red shirt reminded me of those trailblazers that came before me to set the path for women’s rights. And that I have a responsibility to do what I can to ensure those rights are upheld so future generations can benefit.
So as I get ready for bed and take off my red shirt, I am reminded that I am fortunate to be a privileged woman and my responsibility to serve is greater than myself.