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My International Women’s Day Thank You

Yesterday was International Women’s Day! I wanted to write a thank you to all women from Nampa to Boise out to my Texas family. I wanted this one to stand out from all the rest and that’s why you have a day later. It’s important we do this more than just one little day. Here’s to day two.

International Women's Day

 

“The strength of a person comes from some place deep within their soul where they in all humility understand and feel how worn someone’s shoes are.” – Kekeluv

Thank you to all the women Internationally and right here in the Treasure Valley for being inspirational. Women endure discrimination that NO man could ever fully understand both socially and in the workplace. They have been standing up for themselves longer than I’ve been born okay….R.E.S.P.E.C.T. That said, looks like I still have the upper hand don’t I? My ethnicity is White, and my gender is a male. That pretty much gives me a free pass into the white privilege club. I don’t say that with pride, but embarrassment. It’s a fact that I could make more money than you by doing the same job in some workplaces. It’s a fact that I don’t have to worry about racial discrimination like you because I am WHITE. It’s true I could treat women the way I want in some countries, and it’s legal – because I’m a man. Well, I wouldn’t call someone who does that a man.

Humans don’t choose to be born in Boise, Houston, Seattle, or a war infested the Middle East. The sounds of cheers surrounded by love are how my son came into this world. Lennox was born with all the privileges that women don’t have today. Our son will never face racial inequality or gender discrimination.  

‘When I was born I had a success story already written for me; you were given a pen and no paper.” – Royce Mann, 14

You wouldn’t realize how you discriminate unless it’s happened to you. This isn’t the best example but I applied this to what a woman goes through every day. I was at a gas station once, and the lady working made me feel uncomfortable. Granted this was entirely innocent, but it made me think. “Can I help you sweetie…no problem doll…okay babe….$4 honey….Do you need a bag darling….thanks dollface come back soon” That is no exaggeration. It became so annoying that it was at that point I realized we do this to women EVERY DAY. A lady will encounter this type of communication from a man every single day of their life. Think about that men. I took that experience on the radio and posed a question to my female listeners. “Do I talk to YOU this way?” Women called me with the most kind, honest tone and said, “Yes, but I never say anything because I know you don’t mean anything by it.” My heart sunk and I felt terrible. Yes, I’m one of the worst offenders. I’ve treated women like objects for years like society next to me. I consider myself one of the good ones but is that supposed to be acceptable?

Have you ever heard someone say, “You hit like a girl!!!!” Guys love to use this, “Quit acting like a vagina!!!”  We are so ignorant.

Note to men: I dare a man to go through childbirth, have a menstrual cycle, send hormones on a roller coaster never knowing when the ride will end, and let’s see if YOU’RE in a good mood. Women have EARNED the right to have a monthly moment.

I believe you look at things through a different lens as you grow. We must make mistakes, hurt feelings, feel a broken heart, and we must all LEARN from them. When I was graduating high school, I remember my stepmother going BACK to FURTHER her education. There’s nothing STEP about being that mother. When I lost my father, it was probably the hardest thing I’ve gone through. Selfishly, I forgot she lost a husband. She lost a best friend. This great woman put her emotions last and her kids first. There should be more than just one day to celebrate women like that.  To understand what International Women’s Day is about – you must submit to honesty. Not today, forever.  Paige Washburn                                                                    My wife is the strongest woman I know and her mother who birthed five more women. As men, it’s just another day right? For a woman, there is nowhere to hide. She will change for the next nine months feeling every heartbeat, hiccup, pain, and the most unattractive feeling that we will never endure. My sister is better than I ever was or could have been. Tanya cheated death while giving birth to a baby that could have fit in the palm of my hand. They both survived, and now she’s a teacher with more diplomas than I could ever imagine.

Maggie O’Mara (KTVB News Channel 7) isn’t only a local treasure to her viewers but is in love with her family. I’ve watched Maggie touch the souls of women you wouldn’t look twice at because maybe they didn’t fit. Sometimes I feel like Maggie searches for those stories because she understands the impact that love can make in their lives. I’m sorry to show favoritism but Idaho is a better place with Maggie living in it. She introduced me to Kelsey Anderson from (KBOI 2 News) who was selflessly engaged making women feel great about themselves at the Idaho Miss Amazing. I applaud these women for leading and teaching me a few things about being a better role model. I have a lot to learn from the both of them.

Courtesy of Maggie O'Mara
Courtesy of Maggie O’Mara

It’s up to men to stand up for women not because it’s on a billboard or it’s March 8. Real men should STAND UP EVERYDAY FOR WOMEN. Without out them – there is no us. International Women’s Day happens around the world in places where a woman doesn’t have a right. In some places she can’t show her face. Globally, women are paid 60-75% of what a man makes.

603 MILLION women live in countries where domestic violence is not yet considered a crime.

Evidence from a range of countries shows that increasing the share of household income controlled by women, either through their own earnings or cash transfers, changes spending in ways that benefit children.

Live for 175 - Powerful Photo

International Women’s Day started in 1909 and had nothing to do with Donald Trump being elected President. What’s happened over the previous year isn’t about one man or a political party. Today women across the country will stand in solidarity to remind each other that the fight for equality began long before themselves. A match lit a long time ago and women today are responsible carrying that torch in the wake of slander, opposition, and road blocks that STILL set us back mentally as a nation.

Until MEN get together and march with other MEN to stand for all WOMEN, it’s up to the females in our society to lead the way never looking back.

I write this well beyond a specific number of characters, lines, pages, or recommended word count. There is no limit on expression, and a woman should never get tired of hearing how unbelievable and incredible she is. That should be every man’s FIRST tattoo.

To women:  I choose you. I put myself out there unapologetically even if it’s just a gesture; I’ll rise up and invite every man to stand with me for you. Take whatever day you want off, be with your girls, love yourself and feel good about knowing that the world will never thrive without your presence. I stand with the women no matter what label sits above a public bathroom door. I only care what’s lies beneath your heart. THAT’S what’s important.

DSC_0639You make me proud not just today, but every time you call my show to win something for someone else because that’s what a mom does. That’s what a caring woman does for her girlfriend. That’s what a loving aunt does for her nephew. You make me proud because you’re disciplined in a way that I am not, and your emotional connection to our kids is something we can only admire.

To my wife: You make me proud because you grew our son in your little body without fail and delivered a miracle by yourself. You make me proud because with all the complications – you never complained once. Never once.

You make me proud because I love and respect you. As long as you rise, I will be lifting you up as you have done for me. We are one, and hopefully, when our son is older, he will be teaching his son the same thing and maybe lifting his daughter up.

I would challenge men to take a moment and really take in what a woman goes through in life. Be her champion and ALWAYS make her feel comfortable. We should make ALL women feel safe. That’s in a perfect world, but why can we strive to get as close as we can to perfection? Is it so hard to stick up for women when they’re being treated unfairly? We have to adjust the way we look at women before conversations like this will ever vanish. It’s up US. MEN. I’m so proud for all the women around the world who say, NO MORE. Think of how much MORE powerful they could be if we stood by their side. Imagine.

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