I’ve got my standard work uniform on right now.
It’s a classic for stay-at-home moms—black yoga pants, sweatshirt, and a bun loosely flopped on top of my head. This look has less to do with attracting the interest of a man, and everything to do with keeping my toddler and preschooler from dive bombing off the couch and landing themselves in the E.R.
Reportedly, our new president prefers his female staff to “dress like women,” which according to members of his campaign, apparently means to wear dresses. With a history of incendiary remarks on women and their bodies, it’s no surprise that women worldwide quickly jumped up to show him how women really dress – in lab coats, in military uniforms, in hard hats, in space suits and plain old blue jeans.
Because what we know is that being a woman has less to do with what covers your legs, and more to do with what fills your heart.
After becoming a mother, my view of what made me a woman shifted. Being a mother didn’t make me more of a woman, but the experience of seeing my body and life turned upside down and inside out showed me what had always been my core. I fought through my pregnancies to give my children life, and I stand up for them day after day to provide them with the best one that I can. Becoming a mother taught me what a woman truly is.
A woman is someone who loves, I realized, seeing a heartbeat flash on the monitor.
A woman is someone who cares, I thought, rubbing my son’s back after a nightmare.
A woman is someone who works, I knew, whether I was at the office, writing reports, or at home, washing dishes.
A woman is someone who bleeds, I cried, watching refugees struggle across waters to freedom.
A woman is someone who never quits, I hoped, marching alongside thousands as we stood up for human rights.
A woman is someone who fights, I heard, listening to the voices of women who speak out against injustice, intolerance, and fear.
So I say, yes. Let’s dress like women from here on out. Let us clothe ourselves in dignity, in freedom from fear, and love. Let us pick up our shields of acceptance and compassion. Let us don cloaks of never ending determination.
Because a woman is not two legs wrapped in a thin sheet for you to ogle. We are warriors, ready to stand up for our children, for ourselves, and for each other.
It’s time to get dressed, ladies.