International Women’s Day by
(21 Stories)

Prompted By Women's Lib

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Today I’m thinking about all the women I have worked with. Some have been bosses, many many colleagues, and now I have two women who are my employees (heaven help them). I want to honor the women who taught me how to work:

Cathy, the nurse manager at UCSF who hired me fresh out of nursing school and encouraged me to apply for a promotion and then another one.

Lisa and Lucille at Natus Medical – Lisa who was kind to me when I was pregnant and fought for me when I needed that, and Lucille who showed me how being a woman meant having the biggest brain in the room.

In my job today I am fortunate beyond words to work alongside women who model kindness, ferocity, intelligence, hard work, confidence, respect, loyalty, compassion, collaboration, compromise, strategic thinking, integrity, and humor in the face of — well, in the face of everything. I call them my Pantheon of Stanford Goddesses.

Women who helped me learn to work hard at motherhood and in the domestic sphere hold a special place in my heart, my own mother of course, my extended family, and many friends and neighbors.

A special shout out to working women who aren’t mothers and mothers who “don’t work” (insert hysterical laughter here) and who stood with me while I was living in that complex undifferentiated ambiguous space.

Is there room left for women artists and poets I love? That work is not a hobby, no matter how many times we’ve been told that.

In honor of International Women’s Day, I wear red for you, and my blood flows red for you every day. #IWD

I posted the above thoughts on Facebook on March 8, 2017, In honor of International Women’s Day. Several groups planned events called, variously, “Day Without Women” and “Women’s Strike,” etc, but I didn’t want to miss work. I’m making a difference there after a long time treading the proverbial water, so I wore red along with several of my colleagues, and I kicked some ass (which is what I get to do, now that I’m a Director and all). Ladies with a lot on their minds sometimes are slow to do all the things they love, but it’s never too late to share good news.



Profile photo of Jennifer Swanton Brown Jennifer Swanton Brown
Poet. Nurse. Teacher. Mom. Daughter. Sister. Knitter. Swimmer. Contemplative in training. Follow "A Twirly Life" (

Characterizations: well written

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