Hubs has graciously agreed to step in for me tonight, in solidarity with our Day Without Women.
First, I’d like to say that I am truly honored to be writing a guest post for my wife. Honored because I’m her biggest fan. I’m not always great at showing her how awesome she is, but that is partly why I’m writing this post today. Also because I love her writing so much, I’m also painfully aware that my own writing is pretty awful, so I’ll try to keep this short to avoid anyone collapsing in a brain aneurism or anything else involving internal bleeding from reading this. Tomorrow will be back to normal!
I guess I’ve been thinking a lot about my privilege as a white male that grew up in the French Canadian Catholic tradition. I see how other people are treated in different life situations every day, how people react differently to them. And in the case of women especially, I’ve seen how my wife has been and is still treated, along with her peers. So all of this is to say that I’ve been working on myself to be more aware of my behavior towards women and recognize when I fall short, especially in the workplace. Also, I try to be more aware of my own words and actions when I’m teaching, whether it’s young men or women. I keep noticing how simple word choices can make a big difference in how information is received, and I am hopeful that we can make the biggest difference with young people. And I don’t think that what I’m trying to accomplish should be noticed, I think it should just be the norm. We should all be more aware of our own privilege.
And that brings me to my last point. Which is that I’m also working on being a better listener and learning from the women around me, especially my wife. Her commitment, engagement, and advocacy for causes close to her heart is endless. Her continuing growth as a writer, as an artist, and as a citizen of the world where she makes her place in any and all contexts, makes herself heard, and changes it into a better place for all, is what matters. Those things that are part of her are what make this world better. One day, she decided to work on something she cares deeply about and make writing something she honed and made happen on a daily basis. And now, 300 days later, her unrelenting commitment has pulled people together and made many of you read, think and react to her daily gems in ways that are just wonderful.
I strive to follow her strength and commitment to herself. She is constantly a source of amazing insight into everything, non-stop laughter even in the most hopeless moments, and support without end for my often foolish endeavors. Even as I type these words, I feel something similar to pride, but that’s not right, because pride sort of feels like I’m appropriating a part of it for myself. I guess what I’m really feeling is awe. Every day, constantly.
The funny thing about all of this, is that I’m writing this post with a lot of help from my wife. Run on sentences should be used as much as possible (I’m leaving that one up there as proof). Also, what’s a preposition. The concept of oxford comma is fake news. Why aren’t there any “accents aigus”?
Grammar issues aside, she helped me the most with actually figuring out how to shape my thoughts into a coherent and useful post. To organize and clarify what was inside my head and turn it into something meaningful. Which really proves what today is all about: I rely on her help all the time, and I would barely function without her. The world stops without women, is unrecognizable and not worth it without their essence.
This post was a real struggle for me. It was like squeezing juice out of a rock (yes, my brain is made of small pebbles, I have an MRI to prove it). I will now pass the microphone (or keyboard) back to that elevated soul that is my wife, who can make you laugh or cry in one simple haiku or a short story, or anything else that her brilliant brain wants to weave onto your tiny screens.