What does it mean to you?

As I meet more women and discuss their choices and success with them, I’m always surprised when successful powerhouse women tell me that they don’t see themselves, or define themselves as feminists. Most of the time, these women tell me they don’t like labels.

And sure. I get that.  Some women don’t want to be pigeon-holed; shoe-boxed; tagged and stored.

But for others, it’s not being labeled that bothers them. It’s that they don’t like or don’t identify with the label, or with some aspect of the meaning of the label.

And here’s my question – can’t we just be inclusive? If not everyday, at least on International Women’s Day?

We must allow the term ‘feminism’ to include as many women as possible. The uphill battle for equality is hard enough.

And I know that even with that definition many women can’t agree. But here’s what I am sure of:

Every single woman can agree with just one thing that feminism stands for, whether it be equal pay, equal opportunities, making decisions for one’s own body or something else.  

Feminism is a broad term and as such it should be able to contain many definitions. We should be able to use it in a way that includes and not excludes.  

This is not my idea. I actually borrowed it from Madonna. She talks about it in her 2016 Billboard acceptance speech.

Feminism must include more women, not less. We’re all in this together. And there’s no good reason that we can’t succeed in making a massive difference, not just for us, but for society.

It’s often said that women are better communicators than men. And maybe because we’re such good communicators and because we care about words so much, that we care to define what feminism really means and oust anybody who doesn’t fit in with our very narrow definition.

But that doesn’t serve us.

As women, we have issues with self-worth. And that’s why it’s so important that we’re able to look to other women, ask them for their assistance, and receive it. The message that we’re worth it, must constantly be reinforced.

As International Women’s Day 2017, draws to a close, I want to urge you, to include and to accept. My understanding of feminism may not completely overlap with yours, but if we can agree on even one point that can be enough to help us create stronger bonds and stronger women.  

Wouldn’t that be one of the most meaningful things women can do for each other?