Today is the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day.
I read recently about an interesting street artist who has just released a new film called Women Are Heroes. JR does huge photographic murals in public places, the film is about a recent series of photo murals he did of women from poor and war-torn parts of the world.
JR's premise in this film is that in peacetime women are discriminated against, in wartime they are targets. He does not call them victims, he calls them heroes. Because no matter what, they continue to raise the young, keep communities together and point fiercely to the evil of atrocity.
I watched the trailer* for this film and it is moving. In one scene a Congolese woman describes being raped and watching her daughter be raped and her young son murdered. In another, a woman walks up to and screams at soldiers in the street, You are killing the people!
* - This trailer has been flagged on Youtube for containing adult material, I found another site for it but now you are warned: it contains adult material.
I like that JR calls these women heroes, and celebrates their heroism. In the biggest way he can. He plasters gigantic photos of their eyes everywhere, on walls, rooftops, the sides of trucks and buses, and at the bottom of swimming pools. Heroism can be life-threatening acts of courage in moments of great danger, it can also be just keeping on keeping on in the face of unrelenting adversity.
Today is International Women's Day. Celebrate the heroism of women, and keep on keeping on.