International Women's Day was created to seek and realize the human rights to all and achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.
Today is Feby's birthday. I find it hard to believe that it was three years ago that I launched Feby at a booth in downtown Toronto at a music festival. Wow! A lot has happened over the past 1096 days that fills my heart with gratitude and pride.
I've gained a lot of friends, fans, customers, and supporters that share my solid belief that this little bracelet can have a huge and positive impact on young women. The encouragement I have received is immeasurable but oh, so appreciated.
Please permit me to take a moment and thank all the wonderful women who have shared with me their enthusiasm, generosity and wisdom and have made this wonderful journey possible and pleasurable.
Thank you to my two lovely daughters for their exurberance, love, honesty, hipness, quotable remarks, willingness to teach their mom the intricacies of social media (and being my number one fans), allowing me to photograph them more often than they would probably like wearing a bracelet, and for their all-around awesomeness. I love you both so very much and am thankful and proud to be your mom.
Thank you to my mom. Besides myself she was the first (and best) bracelet maker and although I know words are sometimes difficult for her, her actions spoke loudly and lovingly. Thanks mom.
Thank you to Debbie, the best friend in the whole world and bottomless pit of praise and inspiration. She was with me when the first kernel of thought about a bracelet that could represent the menstrual cycle wriggled its way into my brain and has never provided anything but positivity and light. She was also with me every day at that initial launch, through the hottest days of the year and bringing customers in with her charm and verve. My wish for all of you is to have a friend as loyal and loving as Debbie in your life.
Thank you to all the teachers and educational professionals who recognized that the value in this tool is far more than seven dollars and who championed to have me in their classes and events, instructing their charges on the menstrual cycle and for giving me such positive feedback.
Much appreciation goes onward to those students who took part in the workshops and welcomed me with their smiles and youthful energy and openness. It is for these girls that I do what I do and when a girl tells me I taught her so much and she thanks me it is truly golden.
Thanks to the other businesses who wanted Feby on their team to help empower the future generation. A loud and proud shout out to DivaCup, HelloFlo, Toward the Stars, the Matriarch, Radical Parenting and the Mompreneur.
A big heart/like/thumbs-up to the girls on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr, the blog writers and reviewers, the menstrual activists and the feminists who daily go forth into the world at large promoting women's rights and who boost me in ways indescribable.
It has all made me realize that we truly all are sisters and it is up to each and every one of us to grow our family strong and fierce. We do that together, by embracing each other and our worth and potential and sharing our stories. We make each other better and in turn, better ourselves.
Believe me when I say I am firmly committed to this enterprise and expect even bigger and better things to happen in the months and years to come. Like the bracelet itself, I'm taking it one day at a time. Thanks for the enjoyable ride so far :)
Peace, love and empowerment!
Over the course of this week I was fortunate enough to go see the movie 'Maleficent' starring Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning.
First, let me state what a pleasure it is simply to write the previous line wherein the two main characters of a big-budget movie are played by females. I don't think it can be stressed enough how marvelous and unusual this is in and of itself. The majority of big-budget movies are centred around a man and his demons/exploits/travels/problems with women all too often playing a small supporting role as his mother/girlfriend/wife/co-worker who seems to exist to either complicate matters or provide some light-hearted relief from the action and tension. Then, to top that the movie earned top spot in revenue on its' opening weekend, hauling in an impressive 69 million dollars from U.S. audiences and over 100 million oversees as reported here.
In my humble opinion, the movie was a delight from start to finish. I loved the revisionist storyline that was altered to show Maleficent as a complex character and not a one-dimensional villainous trope as can usually be found in fairytales. Make no mistake, this is still very much a fairy tale, but oh, what a fairy tale it is! It is set in the land of fairies called the moors and Maleficent is the uncrowned leader of this realm in her youth, blissfully flying hither and thither, making the blossoms bloom and healing broken branches with her touch, greeting all the other queer folk that live here with grace and kindness. All seems idyllic even when she first meets a human boy named Stephan. They begin a friendship that shows much promise, especially when Stephan throws away his ring after learning that metal burns fairies. Unfortunately, Stephan is soon bewitched by the human king's promise of power for he who would kill the Fairy leader. Stephan then uses his close relationship with Maleficent to betray her by giving her a drug-laden drink and then searing off her wings while she lies unconscious. Much has been made of this scene and it's careful and subtle allusion to rape. Indeed, Angelina herself has said this about that scene:
Jolie's acting in this scene is impressive, as is her personal commitment to help end sexual violence in conflict zones. Earlier this month she delivered an opening speech on the subject at an international summit.
The visuals in Maleficent are stunning as is the acting by the main leads. Elle Fanning is a teenage dream in her role, easily expressing her characters' naivety and awe.
I don't wish to include too many spoilers, but it is safe to say this story has a truly unique and satisfying feminist ending.
I would highly recommend this movie for all ages, especially girls under 15.