It’s International Women’s day on Sunday, and whilst those of you already in my community on instagram will know that I’m really passionate about the topic, you might still be asking yourself what does International Women’s day mean? What does it mean to me – to you – to our daughters?
When I think of International Women’s day, I think about my mum who worked for years on her own to raise me and make sure I never wanted for anything, I think of myself – proud to be a woman and in no way under the impression that I am any more or any less than any other human and I also, perhaps more surprisingly, think of my husband. Yup, I think about the main man in my life on International Women’s day, because in my eyes, International Women’s day represents one thing: unity.
To me, and I truly hope I impart this to my children, feminism is embroiled in such a battle at the moment – like any movement it has it’s extremists but for the majority, feminism is about moving towards a future where women are not discriminated against for what is or isn’t between their legs and where they are EQUAL, not dominant, to their male counterparts. I’ve long said (read: ranted) that as a woman I feel no shame in cooking for my husband, cleaning our home or any of those 1950’s style housewife jobs that people associate with being put down – provided that is my choice. That is the crux of feminism, it’s about enabling us all to have the same choices, which at the moment – like it or not – we don’t.
We still have a world where there are multiple types of contraceptions for women, complete with all their side effects, but there are only condoms for men because women are responsible for controlling pregnancy.
We live in a world where a huge (and increasing) portion of women are persecuted and even prosecuted if they find themselves pregnant with an unwanted pregnancy and try to access medical care for an abortion, but the men face nothing.
We live in a world where one of the largest countries, The USA, is cutting back women’s rights day by day, to the extent of trying to prosecute women who have a miscarriage.
We have a world where black women are at higher risk of dying during child birth because of the colour of their skin and the mere fact that they are ignored by doctors when seeking help. Not just a bit more likely, but FIVE TIMES more likely.
We have a world where suicide rates amongst men are at their peak because of toxic masculinity – a world which denies the very existence of that.
We have a world where trans women are refused equal rights, often ridiculed and frequently subject to violence.
We still have countries with elected officials who believe that it’s acceptable to sexually assault women if you’re rich and famous. Donald, looking at you.
We still have a society where it is SO ingrained in us to blame women for sexual assaults against them that a FEMALE journalist can take the centre stage on a national breakfast show and argue that how we dress could be considered a cause of sexual assault.
We have a world where thousands of women are pushed out of the workplace for having children every year. 54,000 in this country alone.
We still have a society where a THIRD of Britons believe that a woman is to blame for a sexual assault if she has been flirtatious or is wearing revealing clothing.
We still have a society where marital rape is only considered illegal in SOME countries but even then is rarely prosecuted.
We have a society where a female politician is asked about her shoes before her policies.
We have a celebrity like Kesha who stands up and fights years of sexual assault and abuse, being ridiculed and effectively losing her career… and a celebrity like R.Kelly whose record sales improve when a documentary is released with him, on camera, admitting to intercourse with a 14 year old CHILD.
We have a world where toddlers are at risk of rape in some countries. Toddlers.
These are the reasons, by no means all of them – sadly just a few – why we still have International Women’s Day. Why millions of women, and men, are celebrating WOMEN today, are screaming from the roof tops that this MUST change. You can log into twitter and find a barrage of “Why is there no International Men’s Day?! That’s sexism!” or similar rants but I can tell you for a fact that, in the same way we have BLACK history month, GAY pride and BLACK lives matter, we have International WOMENS day to indicate that we need change and we DO have an International Men’s Day (because male egos are fragile af and they wanted something special, despite having the remaining 354 days of the year, every year ) on November 19th.
We have these days, months and celebrations because we still have oppression (which is of course is pretty tough to understand when you’re a white cis gender male).
We have them for our daughters, our sons and for theirs. We have International Women’s Day for change.
I love your blog and I will high-five 99% of this post.
BUT many of these men are very supportive of women’s rights and shouldn’t be tarnished with the bitter “white-cis-men-have-it-easy” brush.
I will post a positive comment celebrating women’s day. I’m greatful for what I have now . But I think in reality even if this sounds depressing. Woman’s day everyday from the moment we take our first breathe to the last. We have to fight for everything.
I will rage and rave if I see injustice on any human being . But if it’s gender discrimination to women. Then I will be raving . Will that fact or action classes me as feminists yes. But if someone ask the HeForShe movement founded by Emma Watson. Comes to mind, I’m born and breed in Scotland but I’m also Indian. So my cultural clashes with my upbringing. But coming to the point in Indian culture they see girls as someone else daughter because one day they will marry off. That was the case with me when i was born obviously my parents love me.
But I made them change there mind because I questioned everything and my questions made them re think their cultural upbringing. Although they did change and see me as a equal to my brother. If your a girl in Indian culture the parents make sure there daughter well educated for that god forbid time. Like a raining day if her marriage doesn’t work then she can get back on her feet. It’s like yes they’re giving there daughter away but with a safety net.
All my cousins sisters hold some form degree. But all choose to be housewives that’s there choice with cultural influences. 1 cousin works as a teacher. My point is the parents try to make their girls more equipped and independent. The parents have teach their daughter to be independent even though this world against us.
Whenever or if I have children I’d hope they would promote , understand the values of HeForShe. I don’t see myself as a feminist because it’s driven by Gender. I see myself as a EQUAL & I deserve those Equal rights. I won’t men to come into this fold and promote Equality too. Yes I’m not a dismal that needs a man to help. But I also dont want a man to fix it cx I’m moaning it’s wrong. I would like men to empathise with me and understand/acknowledge why is it wrong.
That’s not hard men live and love women. There mother’s, sisters/sister-in-law, wife/gf, aunts and friends. It’s not hard to respect,value and love. I don’t find that a hard request. I know it is said females are natural predisposed to a caring/nurturing nature. But that’s not true we grow a form of attachment/affection/ love to then be caring and nurturing towards. Men are fathers, brothers, son, cousins,uncles ,bf/partners and husband. So within these roles they’re caring/nurturing too. Which should be respected, valued and loved.
Great article though there is one correction needed there is an international mens day it falls in November this year it falls on the 19th.
But I do fully agree the fight is for equality not supremecy!
I didn’t even new that’s existed.
I think it is important to have days to remind us we need to keep fighting but that we also need to remember that we should be fighting for these changes every day not just once a year!
I don’t think we do need it tbh I’m one of those who hates having things shoved in my face and this is one of those things. I’m a female I didn’t choose to be it’s just how I was born I’m happy with my rights and everything I have xx
Very well written post couldn’t of put it any better myself, international women’s day is very important
8 th of march was always a women day back home, I remember 7-9 years ago telling someone its women day (here in uk) and they had no clue! Is this something that always been, or been popularised recently? I never paid attention to it to be honest. I am not a feminist, and i was never interested in this women right fights ( dont get me wrong I am not against at all- is just I was never interested in politics and I was never ”opinionated”. Perhaps, i should read more about it, as I can see more and more women join everyday.
I’m in two minds about this day. One the one hand it’s great that we can celebrate women. But on the other it feels a little sexiest that it’s only women we can celebrate. What about the good men who support women? x
This sums up why we still need Women’s Day perfectly. I think it’s a great way to share inspiring, empowering women and try cause change to the discrimination that sadly still happens.
Very interesting perspective! So many things our society still has to work on… whenever I feel discouraged as a woman out there, I think that we have to strive to make things better! It will not be easy but this man-made society has many flaws. I honestly think that a woman’s touch can do so much better! We have to stand unite and support each-other:)
Well for me every day is women’s day! Haha we are indeed a precious creation. Well, I guess everyone is. I guess its okay for us to atleast give some appreciation to awesome womens and also inspire other women to do the same and be one.
We absolutely still need international womens day! Theres still far too much work to be done, although we’ve come a long way! xxx
You hit the nail on the head with this post. We need the day for a change.
Fantastic post and confirms a lot of what i believe. It’s all for equality x
I think international women’s day is great to acknowledge the hardworking incredible women out there but at the same time there’s no point having it if changes aren’t going to be made x
Very true – I hope changes are made soon though there was recently a publication that claimed we wouldn’t see true change take effect until something like 2130?!
I think it is an interesting debate to be had for sure, many relevant points raised and made and I am glad there are people to speak up x
I absolutely adore this post! International Women’s Day is still so needed in today’s world- I think it’s super important to continue to have it.
Thank you – yes, in the same way that anyone who suffers discrimination should have a chance to speak up (and have others speak up for them) we need this!
Very well said. I’m so glad that you wrote about this today, I’ll be sharing on social media.
Thank you Ali 🙂 x
Yes! I agree the day isn’t just celebrating all the achievements of women and how far everyone has come in terms of equality, but also very crucially about highlighting that there is still much that needs to change, and what we can be doing to progress.
Thank you Emily – I truly believe so much needs to change, for our daughters and our sons.
I really enjoyed this post – there is a very important message behind this day and it still very much needs to be heard. I have blogged about it this morning in fact. Keep writing like this it is vital!
Thank you lovely! I intend to 🙂
I could not have said this better! I absolutely love this. Yes we still need international women’s day because we still need change and to remind us of all the awesome women out there that have made us who we are today. Things maybe a bit better than they were a few hundred years ago for women but we are still not equal.
Thank you darling lady – until they are, we need to HOLLLLAAA