For the past few years as I have embraced my feminist beliefs I have marked International Women’s Day in my diary to ensure I always remember to appreciate those that inspire me.
As I received my first text of the morning from one of my fellow university best friends to celebrate the day, I remembered that I always feel a bit pre-empted with excitement. However, this swiftly follows with a sense of deflation.
I tell people around me that its International Women’s Day, to receive mysterious looks of confusion as to why this should be ‘a thing’. Instead, I continue to rejoice in social media to appreciate those around me that have no fear, or shame in celebrating loud and proudly that it is a day we should celebrate one another. And whilst I enjoy seeing fellow women and men who understand the importance of the day, I can’t help but feel like Leland and just see the sadness. Or, more specifically, notice and have to put up with the ignorance that surrounds me.
Feminism means a multitude of things to me. I wouldn’t even want to list them all because I’m so passionate about how much it affects the world, that I wouldn’t stop writing. But I do not want to discourage this day, or not be someone that chooses to not acknowledge it.
For instance, I checked my Facebook feed to see my fellow feminists spreading the word, only to see Facebook had acknowledged it at the top of the news feed. I shared and expressed my wish for ‘spreading the equality vibes’. But just before I did this (and shortly after), I began to still feel that slight nag in my stomach and mind that said “some people will judge you for that”.
Because the notion of why this day is important, is lost to so many people. And many feminists can still not escape the trope of excluding men and empowering women.
But I let myself forget it and choose to write instead. I choose to know that today is definitely not the day to appropriate or consider those that do not understand it. Instead it is exactly the point to celebrate and remember those women we admire.
I also got a motivational nudge to write about it because one of the biggest, ignorant (stereotypical), aristocrat of a man in my office said to the youngest women in the office today “did you know, it’s international women’s day today?” To which she replied “what’s that? [Laughing]”, followed by his much anticipated “[laughing louder] exactly!”
So, I will not spend this post educating the ignorant, or fighting them. Instead here’s to my fellow feminists who understand it all.
Louisa May Alcott
Buffy / Joss Wheadon
Carol Ann Duffy
I have a lot of other influences who encourage my passions and support it, but each time I endured the above I really felt an urge of importance to pursue the feminist movement. But I don’t feel the need to mention them all because it can be tedious.
Which may seem that putting myself is obnoxious, but I believe it all starts within and you have to choose to see it and say it. In the same way though, I don’t believe all my inspirations are perfect idols, because no one is. But for everyone that supports feminism and International Women’s Day – I salute you!
International Women’s Day means to me:
- That I can feel positive for one day of the year about the recognition of what powerful women have done.
- That I can feel the support from around the world towards supporting equal rights for all.
- That I take a day to really focus on what has been done for me by other women, and that it does not go unnoticed.
And quite honestly, do you know why it really hits home for me these days? Because despite the amount of sexism I have witnessed, I have had to deal with the most stereotypical actions of male superiority in the workplace.
I had a management meeting about how the sales guys felt they couldn’t ‘be themselves’ because of remarks they may say. How we could all justify a way of making them feel comfortable to ‘joke around’. To me being declared the only person who would get offended. For me to have to justify why their objectionable remarks are offensive to hear. Instead of discussing how it shouldn’t be allowed in the workplace.
I have to deal with men apologizing to me when they swear. Because god forbid they use any sort of language like that in front of me.
I have to listen to them all declare how money will make every girl want them, and girls are endless. They wish they were single so they didn’t have to put up with them being tied down to women.
How men can be excused from a social gathering so he can ‘fiddle with a girl’.
Whilst all that is promoted is strength, masculinity and the ability to not give a fuck.
I really could go on, and on about what I have heard and have to deal with. But, today is not to moan about that. But it is to expand on what it means to all of us, and why it is important equality is ensured.
This isn’t why I’m a feminist. But it is why I urge for equality for women in numerous aspects. And for them most importantly to be viewed as an equal in everyone’s eyes. Until that is made clear, I do not feel progression can be made. Women cannot be taken seriously, and the one day that people choose to celebrate it – they are mocked.
International Women’s Day to me means that I wish I didn’t have to wait for one day to feel positive about equality. That the enthusiasm everyone shows towards the day was spread across every day. So that both genders are on an even level of being deemed worthy and appreciated.
Women have done so much for the world. So many of them. And I love each and every one of them that chose to fight. That chose to speak up for me and all of us. I thank you, I appreciate you, and today (and forever) I will not stop thinking about you.
Happy International Women’s Day, you changed our world…lets continue to!