Yesterday was International Women’s Day. This day was designated quite a while ago to honor women and our contributions to society.
|Charles W. Bartlett [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
Yesterday also happened to be a day I needed to recharge my brain, so I didn’t get to contribute much. However, there are many wonderful posts, videos and events that did. Check out this entry over at Dyslexia and Me for a great example of one of them.
As I was starting seeds yesterday, I got to thinking about all of the unsung women who make a massive difference every day of our lives: our moms, the professionals who don’t fall into fame, sisters, friends, teachers, and, well, the list goes on.
As I pondered, I realized that although there are many men who do fantastic work in the neurodiversity community, they seem to be outnumbered by women. Advocacy still seems to fall on the shoulders of mom by default, and the vast majority of people I know who home school their kiddos are female.
Advocating for yourself isn’t always very easy, but I imagine it’s a bit more challenging when you’re doing it for your kids. You face a fair amount of judgement when doing it on your own behalf, but that seems to be multiplied when you’re doing it for your child.
There’s a poisonous idea out there that parents who try to get accommodations for their little ones are somehow trying to get special treatment for spoiled kids. I’ve seen the sentiment over and over again that these parents, particularly moms, are coddling their children and setting them up for failure later in life.
I mention mothers in particular, because the image of the fierce mama is different than the fierce papa in mainstream eyes. Too many people see a mother fighting for IEPs to be followed or bullying to be stopped as somehow exaggerating the problem, or being overly emotional about it. If the father steps in, those same people change their tune to, “Oh, well he’s just trying to do what’s right for his kids. What a great dad.”
There’s no difference between motives. The only difference is the gender of the parent. This isn’t just a regional problem, either. You can find similar examples across the world.
Bear in mind, those people are usually standing well outside the situation, and dads get flack as well, but they don’t face quite the same social pressures as moms do.
So, here’s to the moms fighting the good fight. I read your stories, and I’m in your corner. You’re appreciated, one and all.
|Way too early for alcohol, so I toast to you with coffee.|
I’m also including this post in the #womenslives initiative, because it IS honoring the ladies, after all.