erickawaller.com logo  
erickawaller.com logo
erickawaller.com logo

SO Thursday 8th March 2018 is International Women’s Day. It’s also the one day of the year when I feel part of a ‘sisterhood’. I never had a sister and I don’t even have enough friends to book a bowling lane, but on International Women’s Day I get to align myself with better women doing great things and feel a kinship due to the fact I have a vagina. Go vaginas!

I’m lucky enough to have a platform to raise awareness of awesome women, so on international women’s day 2018, I give kudos to the following females, rocking in a world that’s still not free from sexual discrimination.

I salute you, shaven-headed 18-year-old Emma Gonzalez, for speaking out after the valentine’s day shooting in Florida. Your elegant, passionate speech stirred hearts and turned heads. Your shaming of Trump was perfect when you said:

“I am going to happily ask [US President Trump] how much money he received from the National Rifle Association [NRA],", adding, "OK. You want to know something? It doesn't matter because I already know," she proclaimed.

"$30 million!", she went on. "And divided by the number of gunshot victims in the United States, in the one and one-half months in 2018 alone, that comes out to being $5,800 [per victim]. Is that how much these people are worth to you, Trump?"

Here’s to you, Tarana Burke, an America civil rights activist and the first person to use the hastag #metoo to raise awareness of the widespread sexual abuse and assault in society. You first used it 12 years before Alyssa Milano stumbled on it. Your #metoo hashtag was used more than 12 million times as women round the world shared their pain and was responsible for a handful of high profile men losing their jobs. Thank you.

Hand claps to Christine Jardine, a Liberal Democrat demanding the House of Lords be renamed House of Peers. You pulled no punches when you said: “The current gender-specific House of Lords title is no longer appropriate. It feeds into an outdated and unacceptable narrative that political decision-making is a man’s job. In this centenary year of female voting and election rights, it is surely time to recognise that our upper chamber is not a male preserve.”

I could go on for pages, praising women who are calling for massive change in the world, but I’d like to also highlight some women I know, who deserve recognition and respect for being sources of inspiration and strength to me.

So here’s to you Irenka Griffin, for having the guts to take your kids out of school and society, choosing instead to sail them over the seas. I salute you for home schooling your kids in a boat in the middle of the sea in the middle of a windy stormy winter. I salute you for still making pancakes from scratch on a Sunday morning, for the smiles on your kids faces, and for the experiences you are giving them. You’re raising kids with far more colour than the state approved drones our education system would mould them into.

Here’s to you Linsey Waters, for kicking cancer with a smile on your beautiful face and being honest, real and dignified about your ‘journey’. I salute you for breaking the barrier of what is acceptable to say when someone has cancer, for showing your moments of insane courage, and the heart-breaking truth of writhing on the bathroom floor in agony. I’ve never known a better, braver soul.

Here’s to you, 92-Great Aunt Alwyne for still catching the metro into Newcastle three times a week to do your shopping, written in shorthand. May some of that blood be in me.

Here’s to you, Mrs Price, for stepping up and taking over as Headmistress at school, having never done it before and all the while remaining a teacher first and foremost. You teach with humour, grace, and patience, and you’re going to be awesome.

Here’s to you, Sara. I wear your leather jacket every day so I never forget the lesson you taught me.  Life is short, grab it with both hands and love your babies like you may lose them any second. Maybe the Hockey-Cokey is what it’s all about after all.

Here’s to you, Daisy girl, for running the mini mile yesterday. You were at the back the whole way and I know you wanted to stop. I saw tears in your eyes, but you pumped your arms, thrust out your chest and powered through to the end. Your determination and your little lion soul floors me.

Finally, thank you James Waller, for making me the mother of dragons and for embracing every single aspect of International Women’s Day. Thank you for demanding equality for women in your workplace and for raising our daughters genderless, fearless and fierce.