Thoughts on International Women’s Day
I do understand the purpose of dedicating one special day per year to shine light on a certain, often sensitive, part of our society - may it so be an illness, the cure for said condition or other aspects that are directly linked to what we call ‘life’. However, on this particular day (March 8th) I see a lot of people congratulating each other for being a woman… which I find…hmm… silly, I guess. My sex was not a choice, it was a coincidental event and even though I’m pretty happy to be a woman, I personally don’t need to be high-fived and congratulated for not having a penis.
Instead of celebrating some sort of shared birthday of our sex, I will choose to stay on the ball and on the inequalities that still can be called norms in most societies and that are so rooted we don’t really think about them.
We don’t find it particularly odd that most positions of some sort of influence or power belong exclusively to men. Women making less money than their male colleagues while doing the same kind of job doesn’t really raise any eyebrows. And there is so much more that should raise questions but doesn’t, really.
I personally feel that the whole thing with femininity vs feminism has been so knocked of it’s axis that it’s a struggle and a balance act to just simply be allowed to be a woman. The two should really go together, but there are big gaps to fall through wherever you look.
There are still so many norms secretly telling us how a woman should or shouldn’t act or be - if anything they’ve gotten more contradictory and more subtle. The mother, the innocent and the housekeeper/homemaker on one side; the independent, the whore, the ruthless moneymaker on the other. No matter what the choice may be, it should be a choice - free and unjudged. Today I don’t think it is really as every choice comes with a backlash: stay at home mums have no voice, career women have no heart, don’t dress up or put on makeup (men created this image for women), don’t dress down or refuse makeup (take the sexy back).
Of course there are exceptions to the rule (as there are to any rule). There are individuals who’s figured out “the secret”. But should they really be allowed to function as some sort of alibi when the whole foundation still is so, so rocky and unstable?
Today, the inequalities based on the idea that the woman is the weaker gender and thus not as capable as a man, are obsolete. Or… in the 21st century and an age of science, they should be obsolete but sadly they still aren’t. And that’s the problem.
That’s what I feel 8th of March is for; celebrating that we have come a long, long way but also remembering and acknowledging that there are still miles to go. Yes, women should come together on this day (because of nature we rarely do, <— catty remark on women’s cattyness). But no, not to shout “You have boobs too? Awesome!”. That’s just forgetting the cause.
(Please note that I do acknowledge that there are more groups out there fighting conflicting norms. But that’s a different topic and today I’m just touching on Women’s Day)