CELEBRATIONS are like viruses, they are contagious. It is because parties attract people like flies to sugar. The food is free, as well as the booze, there might be some singing or dancing and there are people you will meet that might become fixtures of your life. Then there*s that tendency we all have to flock to people who love life, hoping that their enthusiasm will rub off on us. Who would want to be around miserable people and Mr. Grumpy and the Dark Knight all the time?

And women are big in looking for reasons to celebrate, right? We sometimes make a mountain out of a molehill when our significant others forget the events that need to be celebrated like birthdays, anniversaries, even “monthsaries”. And when we become mothers, an A in a child’s test paper, a baby’s first smile, or first word, first step, etc. are events worth to be feted, yet, we fail to celebrate our utmost fortune: being a woman.

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Being a woman is a gift in itself. We fail to appreciate our womanhood. When we become wives, we became someone else*s afterthought, and when we give birth, we become someone else’s mother. Before we even become someone else’s wife and mother, we first became someone’s daughter. We forget who we are in the process. This month, the Women*s Month, is a way of paying homage to the person behind the facade of a woman.

You see, for only a woman is capable of having so many facets to her nature. Which society and all misjudge those facets to be a bad thing, like mercurial, changeable, fickle, insincere, and weak. But this multiple facets make a woman strong, capable and dependable.

Don’t you think that the time has now come to increase awareness about the strengths and potential of women? For too long the focus has been on projecting women as frail, subjugated, violated and in need of rescue, assistance and protection. The print and electronic media also based their reporting on sensation or tragedy more than achievements of women. Even those who from day to day struggle to survive deserves accolade that in a woman’s capable hands, a child is nurtured to become a person.

Today’s woman is a blend of traditional values and contemporary style. She is a storehouse of incredible force and brings colors and hope to life. A sublime image of warmth and indomitable strength, she’s someone to be respected, and cherished. Nevertheless, a woman*s worth is relegated to the status of less of value. And even women themselves do not understand the embodiment of their whole being.

It is important therefore to embrace oneself in entirety (body and all) so that one day, as a society, we may abandon a culture of shame as we work together to put a stop to violence against women and girls.

Because no matter how advance in culture and civilization we are, there are still people who are not at all too interested in dismantling notions of shame, especially concerning one's physical body. Shame is a very powerful tool, one that maintains submissive inequality of genders and keeps instances of sexual assault and rape from being reported. If being confident with one's identity is the lowest form of empowerment I would question what any person place above it in the hierarchy. The problem is about dismantling societal norms that cause shame, that reinforce the gendered hierarchies that contribute so profoundly to violence against women, and society's treatment of this very great social problem.

We should tell stories of what it's like to be a woman, the good and the bad, the joy and the sorrow, through the eyes of a woman, as only a woman can tell it. We should sing about turning 40 or 50 and beyond, and about a mother who finds herself alone after her husband has died and the last of her children has moved out, of being independent, single and satisfied. We should commemorate the historical piece about the suffragette movement, about the joy of simply hanging out with a bunch of girlfriends, drinking beer and listening to music.

As a woman, I know there are a thousand reasons to rejoice in being one. (Want to react? Email me at justsaying416@gmail.com)