One chromosome. That is all it takes to determine the biological sex of a human being. Roughly half of our world’s population end up with the XY combination, making them males, while the other portion of the world’s people, like me, have the XX combination. Regardless of whichever combination a person it born with, one fact holds true. That one chromosome, that X or Y, will determine the course of that person’s life forever.
Yesterday was International Women’s Day, and I did not write a blog, because I could not articulate the words that women around the world deserve. I am lucky enough to be surrounded by some of the best ladies in the entire world.
Some are mothers who ensure that their children receive the best they are capable of giving.
Some have built their careers from the ground and become complete Girl Bosses in the process.
Some are the sassiest, classiest people that I know.
They are smart.
They are dedicated.
They know their worth.
I cannot help but take a moment to remember the women across the globe who lead an entirely different lifestyle than my friends, family, and me, but not by choice.
Millions of them are sold into human trafficking.
Others are forced to enter marriages as children.
Countless are denied the right of education.
While the United States lags far behind other countries in the pursuit of gender equality (we were #20 in 2014 according to the World Economic Forum), I am so thankful that I was able to choose my own career path, marry as an adult rather than a child, and have the opportunity to seek as much information, knowledge, and education to satisfy my innate curiosity. Statistically, many of my fellow women across the globe are not afforded these luxuries. Last time I checked, all of the aforementioned should be human rights, not luxuries. We are just not there yet.
Even in the United States, I see so many areas in which we could improve (which is not terribly hard to discern considering 19 other countries are ahead of us in terms of equality of the sexes).
I see women being shamed for the path they choose in life. Inevitably, some will want to begin families early while others will pursue their careers with reckless abandon.
Some will leave the towns that built them in pursuit of adventures, while others will be content nestling in the place they have always called home.
Some will marry young, others will wait on love, and others will remain single their entire lives.
The great thing about living in our country is that we are free to make these choices and be who we want to be. Why should we expect everyone else to be just like us? If they were, the world would be incredibly boring.
So, here’s a Monday double-dare you for the girls out there. Be who you are, and be her unapologetically.
Be a mother.
Be a wife.
Be the single girl who has fallen more in love with herself than anyone else ever could.
Be a traveler.
Be a CEO.
Rock that chromosome. Be what makes you happy, and thank your lucky stars each day that you have the opportunity to do so. Some other XX’s out there are not so fortunate.
One last thing: since you have the opportunity to be who you choose, I hope you will be an advocate for other women out there, be they the women right next door, or the women all over the world. I believe that a true measure of progress for our sex will be our comradery and our willingness to be the voice for others who have always been silenced.