March is Women’s History Month, with International Women’s Day marked on March 8th. As with, well, pretty much anything, there is much debate over whether this is justified, what or whose agenda it furthers, who it seeks to celebrate, and so forth. If nothing else, it serves as a reminder of the contributions of daily and historical importance women have made, and our importance in the fabric of society.
This period of discourse has reminded me of a thought that often works its way into my head surrounding the fact that, while I'm not aspiring to minimalism, I am seeking to minimize my footprint of consumption.
As women, we are taught from a young age to minimize the space we occupy, minimize our voices, minimize our bodies. The space we are permitted to grown in, however, is in our consumption. Since the beginning of the retail explosion of the early 20th century, if not sooner, the power of a woman was found in her purchasing power. As much as 85% of purchases in the US today are made by women, for numerous noteable reasons, yet society has somehow perpetuated a degrading troupe of women with armfuls of shopping bags filled with frivolous purchases. It’s as if we’ve been told our worth is in our utility, not our creativity, aspirations, or interests.
So what about women, like myself, that take a stand to effectively take up less space? Those who strive to use fewer things, live in smaller homes, or shrink our physical footprints?