I choose to challenge on International Women’s Day

It’s International Women’s Day and I have a confession to make. For a number of years, I lost my activism and my feminism. But here is what I learnt this year.

Kathryn Koromilas celebrates choosing to challenge on  International Women's Day

Even when you are loved, even when you love, and are doing well, you still need to act. You always need to act. Always. Always act. Don’t let anything get past you.

IWD 2021 campaign theme: #ChooseToChallenge

This is the theme of International Women’s Day this year.

“A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day.

We can all choose to challenge. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.”

But wait.

Before you choose to challenge…wait.

Be considered and gentle. Be good and honourable.

(I continue to learn how to do this with my Stoic study and practice. I am a work-in-progress and I celebrate this too. So I’m speaking to myself here as much as I am speaking to and with you all).

Don’t act from anger or pride.

Pause, retreat, think and focus on the greater good, step back from yourself, get over yourself, go beyond your own petty drama and ego.

Reason. Use your head.

Consider what will come if you challenge; what will come if you act.

Consider those around you, your family, friends, and colleagues.

Make sure you care for them and keep them as safe as you can if you do need to act. Maybe you don’t always need to act. You may choose not to act so long as you know that you may do so when the time is right for you in the future.

Consider what comes before you act. Imagine how things will be like for you and your community when you act. Judge if there is any advantage for you and your community and for the greater good.

Consideration will help you act in the best possible way for all. This is not just about you.

Choose to challenge only because you are part of a community that you can make better because you act.

Is International Women’s Day a thing?

If you consider all of this and you judge that there is still a reason to act, do so.
I brought up International Women’s Day in a meeting recently and heard this:

“International Women’s Day? Is that a thing? Is it important? Never heard of it.”
Yes. It is important. By choosing to celebrate women we can help create a better community, a better world.

I brought up a concern about someone’s behaviour recently and heard this:
“Are you sure you aren’t overthinking it? Just smile and get on with it.”
No. I’m not over-thinking it.

But you bet I’m thinking it. I’m considering it. I am using the awesome power of my brain to reason through it.

And having properly reasoned, I now choose to challenge it.

After years of forgetting all this, after years of forgetting how to be a real woman, a good woman, today I am back.

Hello, world!

I choose to celebrate you all, you amazing women. I see you, hear you and I love you.

And to the men and everyone who have held me and celebrated and cared for me. I am so grateful to you all. Love to you all too.

And I choose to challenge those of you who are so caught up in your own petty ego that you cannot see how you fit into this world, how this world works, and how we are all meant to work together and celebrate our so very short and transient lives together.

Who’s in? Who of you my dear Facebook friends will consider choosing to challenge? If you need to talk about this, please message me. And pop on over to Facebook to chat.

Happy Women’s Day #IWD2021 #choosetochallenge

1 thought on “I choose to challenge on International Women’s Day

  1. Sofia Koutlaki

    Thank you, my dear Kathryn, for saying what needs to be said in the way it needs to be said. Thank you too for your gentleness, your calming presence and the much-needed reminders of Stoic teachings. Thank you for letting me overhear what you tell yourself!


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