I thought a lot about participating in the Day Without a Woman strike this past Wednesday. I vaguely assumed that I would take the day off work like so many other women did that day. That was until I realized that I work for a national non-profit women’s organization – and that taking a day off from my job in the name of feminism would be really dumb.
While I had a part in the strike in a few other ways – wearing red, not spending money, listening to Beyoncé – I think it also had a part in my life to remind me how lucky I am to have the job that I do. When I had my interview for this position with the executive director of the sorority, she referred to a portion of my application where I’d written about why this job would be right in my life and why it would be the best fit for me. Because I’m a freak and I still have that application saved, I was able to go back and look at what I’d said –
Unlike so many people my age, I have been lucky enough to figure out what does make me happy. I love serving and empowering women. My experience with Sigma Kappa, my sisters and friends who have challenged me, and my time serving the Panhellenic community have helped me discover my desire to lead and encourage other women. That’s not much of a major or a distinct career path. No one really gets to say things like, “Hey, I’m Kendall and I’m a professional feminist.” There’s no title for it, really, but there are so many jobs designed to serve and build up the power of women. This job is one of them. This position doesn’t just contribute to my future goals, it’s my dream job. Being as a Leadership Consultant means serving incredible women, pushing them to be better and helping them to realize what they’re capable of.
I knew before I even had the job that this is what it was really about, but I haven’t taken the time since I’ve been doing it to appreciate it. Not until the strike reminded me that my job is contributing to the equality I hope we are all fighting for. I assumed that it would be fulfilling to work with young women every single day, but I had no idea how incredible it would be to watch them grow and change right in front of me.
Anyone who knows me knows that feminism gets me 1) very excited and 2) really emotional; but even with the passion I’ve had for it over the course of many years, I have never experienced something so powerful as working directly with the women who are the future of our world. I think it can be so disheartening to look at the imperfections of our society and to see all the things we need to change, but it can be just as uplifting to know what is coming after us. My job is about a lot of things, but part of it is about building up women and pushing them to be better people who, in turn, will make the world a better place.
I hope that the strike showed a lot of people what women contribute to our world, our workplaces and our economy – but, for me, the strike showed me how wonderful my world already is.