It’s March 8, International Women’s Day and National Proof Reading Day, as one of my colleagues pointed out. I think I have the woman thing down pat but the proof reading… not so much. A sad thing for an editor to admit. But what I am really left thinking about on this auspicious day is the type of woman that I have become as I finish making my way around the sun for my 49th time this spring. I also give thought to the type of women that my daughters will become as my oldest celebrates her milestone Sweet 16 Birthday tomorrow and becomes one step closer to her own independence.
We have a lot of women on the pages of this issue of At Home on the North Shore. It wasn’t intentional but today, reflecting on the role of women in our world, it is not surprising that the people who are influencing our future, documenting our past and making a difference right this very minute are women. And it’s no wonder we are talking about them.
Harriett Beecher Stowe, the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, the book that largely influenced the abolishment of slavery in the U.S., said that “women are the architects of society.” Stowe wrote about motherhood, domesticity and family. I don’t want to say that she was a woman before her time because she was a woman that time needed. She possessed a strong moral compass and was bold to extend her ideas at a time when strong women were not celebrated. She regarded all people as equals, regardless of sex or race. Mothers are mothers and women are women. It was as simple as that. However, as much as we know and believe about true equality and inclusion, we also have sensibilities that there is still work to be done.
As I flip through the pages of this book, I see women of different ages and cultures. They all have different economic means and are at different stages in their lives. The writers contributing to this issue, almost all of them women, will introduce you to other women who are doing some pretty cool stuff. They are women who are farming and making art, who are dentists and who are fitness motivators, who are entrepreneurs and who are teachers, who are mothers and damn good cooks thousands of kilometres away from their war-ravaged country looking for hope and a place where they can be the women they always knew they could be.
Stowe was right. We are the “architects of society.” The women in this issue, in the community now and just coming of age, have the opportunity to continue to define and build the prosperity of our region. I believe that together we will cultivate the culture of future generations. What we do today and pass on to the young women nipping at our heels with their own ideas is of vital importance. I trust the instincts and the inspirations of this sisterhood.
This issue didn’t start out as a celebration of The Feminine Mystique but as I start to make my way around the sun for my 50th year I am going to take this as a sign of my women’s intuition.
Happy spring everyone!