This lady, my hero Momma is the 3-bra-Superwoman! I'm grateful for her and all the other amazing women in my life and in the world. Reading all the stories of female excellence today made me pull over and write one about my mom. I've never written a novella on Instagram but it's #internationalwomensday SO I do what I want ❤💪🏼 #iwd2017
When I was 11 my Mom was accepted into the Denver Fire Department. She'd worked her ass off to get there, lifted weights at the YMCA at night, wore 3 bras in the morning to run (sports bras in the 90's were decorative) and worked full time during the day. She was a 34 yr old single Mom and would be the second oldest female to join the department that only employed 9 women at the time.
Academy was brutal, men were vicious, no one wanted a woman thereShe came home with bruises, limping, sometimes crying but she would smile and rattle off a Shakespeare quote and tell me it was fine.
Ten days before graduation the Chief that hated her, who'd left her locked in a smoke filled room longer than protocol, who'd pulled a ladder from under her but she'd grabbed a ledge, who greeted her at a firehouse with her name written in shit on a wall.. kept her on roof 35 mins longer than legally allowed sawing through cement, the secretary at the Academy called headquarters to make to stop.
Her shoulder was torn and would require surgery, she would not graduate. The City was aware of the discrimination she'd faced, turns out 7 people had filled complaints anonymously as they watched what happened through training. She was fired.
The significance of her brief time as a firefighter only sunk in a few years ago when I asked "what was Academy like?" and now I want her to write a book.
We have to share our stories, not to bathe in injustice but to remind our daughters, our friends to keep fighting. Women have come a long way and continue to. Discrimination isn't off the radar, and while there may be jobs better suited for men the fight continues until we dont blink twice when a woman goes after what she wants.