For the three of you keeping score, November 23rd 2016 was my first #WCW post. It’s been a full year! And while I’ve certainly learned about the stories of women that were being overlooked, stories of women that went viral, and stories of women that were important to me, I’ve also learned a lot about social media and Google analytics. I found that at first I had look up stories on my own, or to go off of recommendations given to me by some pretty dope friends. It wasn’t hard, per say. I just had to make a conscious effort to seek stories out, as they weren’t showing up on my Facebook timeline, “Recommended for You” Goodreads lists, and so forth. But the more I clicked around, the more books I read or marked as “to-read”, the more I liked and followed pages and people that promoted strong and amazing women… I was suddenly bombarded by awesome content. It’s wonderful.
This next year promises more of the same. More uplifting stories of women in government (who seem to be the only ones making rational decisions right now), more sharing of stories of historical women who were instrumental in shaping society but were relegated to footnotes, more self-assessment on what it means to be an Ally. So here’s a list of pages or people whose content I’ve really enjoyed. And then I’ll get to today’s #WCW submission, which is the most important one for me to date.
My mother has always played an incredibly large role in my life, and my earliest memories about lessons in morality are from her. Most of these memories are wonderful; her reading bedtime stories of books that had obvious teachings about right and wrong, her not being angry AT ALL when I got in trouble for fighting on the playground when I was defending my younger brother from a bully, etc. Other memories were not so pleasant, but have burned into my memory.
The most vivid one: I can’t remember how old I was, but I was with my mother as she was going around town running errands and doing shopping. One of the trips was to the bank, where she had to make a withdrawal from her and my father’s joint checking account. They wouldn’t let her… They told her that she needed permission from my dad or that he needed to be there with her in order to take out the funds, again, from their JOINT account. My mother made it back to the car before she started to cry. That was my first vivid memory of gender discrimination. Even that young, I had no doubt that my father would not have needed my mother’s permission to withdraw the money and the WRONGNESS of it, combined with my mother’s tears, made me nauseous. She took a moment, called my father (who was also pissed), and then went about her day because She. Had. Shit. To. Do. and wasn’t about to let this blatant wrong stop her. She was a badass.
And still is. Today, Theresa is a loving and amazing foster parent. Since they started, my parents have fostered 14 children and have had many others under their roof for respite care. What’s especially amazing is that even though some of the children have stayed for longer than a year, all of them either go back to their families after their parents have cleaned up, or get adopted by other families if deemed appropriate by the courts. I think most people would hold back a little of themselves during care, lest they get too attached to these amazing kids. Not Theresa. She dives in emphatically and without reservation. She showers these kids with love and goes above and beyond what is normally expected of foster parents, making sure they have everything they need (even at Christmas, when foster parents are not given a stipend or are expected to give presents, you best believe that these kids have things under the tree). And when the children leave, it’s HARD. There are tears, and it honestly feels like part of her heart leaves with them, that’s how involved she is in these children’s lives. She’s upset for a while, but then she sets her shoulders and gets right back in it, because She. Has. Shit. To. Do. and there are many more children that need her. I can’t think of a better Woman “Crushin’ it” Wednesday for this blog’s 1 year anniversary.