Houston's Version Of International Women's Day Grows Even Larger

Don't have anything to be happy about on this miserable Monday yet?  Well, if you're a woman, you have no excuse for sulking. Today is International Women's Day dog gone it!  

So as you sit in your office or home (not earning the same pay as your male co-worker or partner), try to conjure up that tingly feeling our foremothers must have felt when they won the right vote 90 years ago. Don't linger on the fact that if you lived in China, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Bulgaria and Macedonia, you'd be celebrating a national holiday right now. At least here, women have choices! That's plenty to celebrate. Aren't all those countries communist anyway?

Besides, International Women's Day isn't just about politics and complaining about how women are being abused.

"What it always comes down to is relationships and how women deal with them. Not just relationships with their partners, but with their kids and their communities. Dealing with our own issues and insecurities in order to help women," says Monica Villarreal.

Villarreal is one of the founders of Creative Women Unite, a collective of Houston female artists and activists, whose four-year-old annual festival has expanded from a one-day art show to a month-long series of events this year.

And these uppity women don't plan to be crying about anything.

"Originally, I thought about other cities that had such great support groups for healing and empowering women and thought, 'why don't we have something like that in this city.' Instead of saying, 'this city sucks,' I found a few women with the same feelings and we created something for Houston women," Villarreal says. "'This wouldn't happen without the community. It's totally grassroots."

Grassroots, diverse and multi-cultural. The main organizers this year include African-American, Latino, Asian and Caucasian women with backgrounds from CEO of a non-profit to stay-at-home moms.

Their celebration for International Women's Day is a pot-luck dinner tonight starting at 7 p.m. at Avant Garden, 411 Westheimer. Women will also have the opportunity to share their personal stories about women that have inspired them throughout their lives.

So if you're a woman that is looking for a reason to celebrate your womanhood, you can find some kindred spirits and bask in the glory of being a woman. Of course, if you're a man, you can still come out and help honor the women in your life or find one to honor. There will be plenty of women there.

In case you miss tonight's event, there are six more to choose from this month:
March 9th: A film screening of Who's Counting? at Houston Institute for Culture (708 Telephone Rd.)

March 13th:  "Going Back to Roots" workshops at The Real School (1525 E. 32 ½ St.)

March 20th: Women Healing Empowering Women (W.H.E.W) Town Hall at The El Dorado Ballroom (2310 Elgin)

March 27th: Reproductive Justice Workshops at Willow Street Pump Station (811 San Jacinto)

March 26th and 27th: Senorita Cinema Film Festival at Rice Media Center (2030 University Blvd.)

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Liana Lopez